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Mall owner Simon Property revenue disappoints as pandemic cuts shopping days

(Adds details from release, background)

Aug 10 (Reuters) – America’s largest mall operator Simon Property Group Inc missed Wall Street estimates for revenue and profit on Monday, hurt by unpaid rent from retailers due to the COVID-19 pandemic that also led to a loss of 10,500 shopping days.

Simon, which operates about 200 U.S. properties and houses brands such as Gap, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, Macy’s, and J.C. Penney, is struggling as some of its clients have either filed for bankruptcy or are fighting to stay afloat while the pandemic continues to ravage their businesses.

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc and Simon have been in talks to convert some department stores in malls into distribution hubs, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day.

Indianapolis-based Simon’s Chief Executive Officer David Simon said shoppers’ response was encouraging as they begin to return to malls as they reopen after lockdowns.

The company said it has collected about 51% of its contractual rent billed for April and May combined, about 69% for June and about 73% for July from its U.S. retail portfolio.

Total revenue for the second quarter ended June 30 fell about 24% to $1.06 billion, compared with Wall Street estimates of $1.14 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to the company’s shareholders fell to $254.2 million, or 83 cents per share, from $495.3 million, or $1.60 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 98 cents per share.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)


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