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General Growth's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

As some of you’ve heard me say most recently at the NAREIT conference. There are basically three drivers of GGP’s growth over the next three to five years, increasing occupancy, increasing rents and executing our redevelopment plan.

We’re focused on these three drivers and if we are successful, we should see annual growth of 3% to 5% over the next three to five years. We’ll also continue to grow our Brazilian platform which now comprises of 16 malls, growing to 19 as developments become operational.

Our growth driver number one, increasing occupancy, our focus has been simple, lease, lease, lease. The biggest part of our growth comes from increasing occupancy. Our goal for permanent occupancy by the end of this year is over 88% with the total leased of 95%.

At quarter end, the U.S. mall portfolio was about 85% occupied with permanent leases, 6% temporary and 3% signed and occupied for a grand total of 94.3%. Based on our leasing progress to date, we feel very comfortable achieving the permanent occupancy target we’ve set for 2012.

I’d like to take a moment to focus on temporary occupancy. Temp occupancy is currently about 6% of our portfolio. As we increased the total occupancy level of the portfolio, we’re not only converting temporary leases to permanent leases but we are also leasing some of our vacant space on a temporary basis. So far this year, we’ve converted approximately 430,000-square feet of previously leased on a temporary basis to permanent.

We have also leased approximately 450,000-square feet on a temporary basis space that was previously vacant. Therefore, we are realizing incremental NOI from the ongoing conversion of temp to perm and also leasing of vacant space to temp space.

Looking beyond 2012, we anticipate reaching -- achieving 95% total leased level by year end 2013 and expect it to be comprised of 90% to 91% on occupancy, 3% to 4% temp and about 1% signed not opened.

For the second quarter, approximately one-third of our 2013 leasing goal has been accomplished. By 2014, we expect to be stabilized at 95% to 96% total occupancy of which 92% to 93% will be permanent.

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