As this call will be webcast for some time to come I believe that it is important to note that the passage of time can render information stale and you should not rely on the continued accuracy of this material. During this call we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by the SEC's regulation G. The reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure is included in the press release and the supplemental 8K page filings for the quarter which is posted in the investor section of the company's website at www.macerich.com.
Joining us today are Art Coppola, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ed Coppola, President, Tom O'Hern, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. With that I will turn the call over to Tom.
Thanks Jean and welcome everyone. Today we are going to be discussing the first Quarter results, capital activity and our outlook for 2012.As we expected during the quarter fundamentals continued to improve. Retail sales had a strong increase and same-Center NOI was positive for the ninth quarter in a row. The re-leasing spreads showed double digit increases. Although occupancy dropped slightly, it remained at a very healthy level of 92.1%.Leasing volume and spreads were both good. Leases signed during the quarter amounted to 216,000 square feet. The average new starting rent was $46.06 per foot. The average re-leasing spread on a trailing 12 month basis is 15.8%. Average rent per square foot in the entire portfolio was up 5% to 45.87% compared to March 31st, 2011. Occupancy cost as a percentage of sales dropped to 12.9% compared to 13.5% a year ago.Looking at the results for the quarter adjusted FFO, which excludes the impact of Valley View, was $0.76 per share, up from $0.52 per share in the first quarter 2011. The operating results were good including same-center NOI growth, excluding termination revenue and SFAS 141 income was 3.4% for the quarter. Lease termination revenue was up nearly $800,000 to $2.9 million. Bad debt expenses are up somewhat at $800,000 compared to $400,000 in the first quarter of last year.
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