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

General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP)

Q2 2012 Results Earnings Call

August 2, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Kevin Berry – Investor Relations

Sandy Mathrani – Chief Executive Officer

Michael Berman – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Alexander Goldfarb – Sandler O’Neill

Quentin Velleley – Citi

Ki Bin Kim – Macquarie

Christy McElroy – UBS

Jeffrey Donnelly – Wells Fargo

Rich Moore – RBC Capital Markets

Cedrick Lachance – Green Street Advisors

Michael Mueller – JPMorgan

Michael Bilerman – Citi

Nathan Isbee – Stifel Nicolaus

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the General Growth Properties Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session, and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, today’s call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Kevin Berry. Sir, you may begin.

Kevin Berry

Thank you, Shannon. Good morning. And welcome to General Growth Properties’ second quarter of 2012 earnings conference call.

Please be aware that statements made during this call maybe deemed forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Please refer to our filings with the SEC for a detailed discussion.

Acknowledging the fact that this call will be webcast, it is important to note that our call includes time sensitive information that maybe accurate only as of today’s date, August 2, 2012.

During today’s call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included within the earnings release and the supplemental information package included in the Form 8-K. This information is also available on our website in the Investors section.

Participating in today’s call will be Sandy Mathrani, Chief Executive Officer; and Michael Berman, Chief Financial Officer.

I will now turn the call over to Sandy.

Sandy Mathrani

Thanks, Kevin. Good morning. I’ll provide an overview of our results for the quarter, our growth strategy, some perspectives on the retail landscape and then turn the call over to Michael to review our financial results and guidance for the reminder of the year.

Yesterday, we reported FFO of $0.23 per diluted share. Our total FFO increased about 24% from the same period last year. NOI for the U.S. mall portfolio increased 4.9% from the same period last year and on a same store basis a little over 4%.

If you include our stake in Brazil, our total NOI for the mall business increased 6.4% from the same period last year. Based on our year-to-date results and expectations for the remainder of 2012, we’ve increased our full year FFO guidance to $0.95 to $0.97 per diluted share, a little over 2%.

I’d like to make a special mention of our internal capital markets themes, as I use like, so the stellar performance and commitment to derisking our balance sheet and lowering our cost of debt.

As you know, during the second quarter we financed over $3 billion, 2.74 billion share and reduced the average interest rate on these loans to 4.2% from 5.24%.

Equally important, we also eliminated $640 million of recourse to GGP and the cross-collateralization between Fashion Show Mall and The Grand Canal Shoppes, Palazzo.

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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