Mall landlord Simon Property forecasts rise in annual profit By Reuters

© Reuters. Shoppers ascend and descend escalators at the King of Prussia Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, United State’s largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia

(Reuters) – Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:) forecast higher full-year profit on Monday as improving store traffic at brick-and-mortar retailers helped drive a rise in the largest U.S. mall owner’s rent collection.

Sales of some brick-and-mortar retailers have improved from the pandemic troughs plumbed last year thanks to the launch of online shopping options such as same-day order pick-ups and government stimulus checks.

Simon said it had collected 90% of the second, third and fourth-quarter net billed rents combined as of Feb. 5. It had collected only 85% of third-quarter net billed rents as of Nov. 6.

However, total revenue fell 24% to $1.13 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Simon forecast 2021 earnings per share of $4.60 to $4.85, compared with a profit of $3.59 per share in 2020.

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