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Simon Property Group third-quarter FFO rises

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Simon Property Group Inc reported an 18.8 percent increase in a key earnings measure on higher rents and sales at its malls and outlet centers, easily beating estimates, and the real estate investment trust raised its outlook for the year.

Third-quarter funds from operations (FFO) rose to $720.1 million, or $1.99 per share, from $606.2 million, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier, the company said on Thursday. Revenue increased 14.4 percent to $1.23 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected FFO of $1.92 a share on revenue of $1.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

FFO is a REIT performance measure that usually excludes gains or losses from property sales and removes the effect that depreciation has on earnings.

Simon increased its FFO forecast for the year, excluding items, to a range of $7.80 per share to $7.85 per share from a previously raised $7.60 per share to $7.70 per share. The company's forecasts tend to be conservative, and Simon often raises them each quarter. Analysts expect $7.76 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.