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CBL & Associates Properties' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Additionally, portfolio occupancy improved sequentially and from the prior year to 91.3% and we anticipate closing the year to 93%. As a result of this positive momentum, we are increasing our guidance for this year for both FFO and NOI. While headline news has diminished confidence in the economy, the reality is that the consumer is shopping and retail sales are growing. Retailers are expanding their store counts and our portfolio has been benefiting from new store openings both new concepts and existing retailers. We recently announced a new American Girl store opening at Chesterfield Mall in St. Louis in the spring of 2012.

At West Towne Mall in Madison, Wisconsin, we opened Dry Goods owned by Von Maur, one of only four openings for this new juniors’ concept. We also opened new mall stores for also Alta, J. Crew, Carters, (indiscernible) and many others. Restaurants boxes in theaters are opening at our malls. Later this week, Cinemark is opening a new state-of-the-art theater at Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Retailers have generally capped a long-term deal on their businesses and are going forward with store expansion plans.

Third quarter leasing results demonstrate this demand and build on the positive momentum we established earlier this year. Overall leases for stabilized malls in the third quarter were signed at an 8% increase over the prior gross rent per square foot. This compares with spreads of negative 4.9% for leases in the third quarter of 2010, a significant positive swing of more than 13%.

Renewal leasing spreads were positive, up 80 basis points over the prior rents and new leases were signed at a more than 22% increase of our prior rents, but strong increase. We are happy to see that short-term deals of three years are less or consistent with the reduced levels in the second quarter at 42%. This compares with 55% for 2010.

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