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Unibail-Rodamco Earnings Rise as Malls Produce More Cash

Unibail-Rodamco SE, Europe’s largest publicly traded property owner, said first-half recurring profit rose 4.3 percent on increased income from shopping malls. The company said it’s confident of meeting a 2012 earnings target.

Earnings excluding changes in asset values and proceeds from disposals, or recurring profit, increased to 453 million euros ($550 million), or 4.94 euros a share, from 435 million euros, or 4.74 euros, a year earlier, the Paris-based company said in a statement today.

Unibail-Rodamco is aiming for a 4 percent increase in full-year earnings per share, Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Poitrinal said in February. The real estate investment trust agreed to buy most of the company that controls Mfi Management fuer Immobilien AG, Germany’s second-biggest shopping-mall operator, according to a June 14 announcement. The acquisition will start adding to Unibail-Rodamco’s recurring profit per share immediately, the company said at the time.

“We are cherry pickers in Europe,” Poitrinal said on a conference call today when asked about the company’s strategy in Europe. “ We are not a macro-economic play.”

Rental income climbed to 661 million euros in the first half from 647 million euros a year earlier, lifted by a 4.6 percent increase at Unibail-Rodamco’s malls. The company expects to complete 20 projects with a gross leasable area of 300,000 square meters (3.2 million square feet) in the next 18 months, according to the statement.

Unibail-Rodamco has dropped 7.6 percent in Paris trading in the past 12 months, reducing the company’s market value to 13.5 billion euros.

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