WP GLIMCHER Inc. (NYSE:WPG.PRI) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

May 05, 2016 • 11:00 am ET


WP GLIMCHER Inc. (NYSE:WPG.PRI) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the WP Glimcher's First Quarter 2016 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, today's conference maybe recorded.

I would now like to introduce your host for today's conference, Lisa Indest, Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting. Ma'am, please go ahead.

Lisa Indest

Good morning, and welcome to WP Glimcher's first quarter 2016 earnings call. During today's call, we will make certain forward-looking statements as defined by the Federal Securities Law. These statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, plans and other matters that are not historical and are subject to the risks and uncertainties that might affect future events or results. For a detailed description of these risks, please refer to our earnings release and various SEC filings.

Management may also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of each non-GAAP financial measure to comparable GAAP measure are included in our press release, supplemental information report and SEC filings, which are available on the Investor Relations section of our website at wpglimcher.com.

Members of management with us today are Michael Glimcher, CEO; Butch Knerr, COO; and Mark Yale, CFO.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Michael.

Michael Glimcher

Thanks, Lisa. Good morning, and thank you for joining us on today's call. We are pleased by the start of 2016 and remain optimistic about how it positions us for the rest of the year in terms of continued execution of our strategy. As previously discussed, 2015 was a transition year as we built the foundation to drive future growth.

During the first quarter of 2016, our fully integrated team and platform, strong leasing deal pipeline and focused execution, delivered solid results. FFO was in line with our expectations and previous guidance. Same-property NOI increased 4.3% for our core portfolio.

When looking at our performance, our Tier 1 malls and community centers, which represent nearly three quarters of our NOI were the biggest drivers of growth during the first quarter.

As you saw in our release, we are increasing the top-end of our guidance range for comp NOI and now expect growth in the range of 1.5% to 2.5% this year.

While we still have work to get done, we are encouraged by the continued improvement in our operating metrics. Sales per square foot in our core malls increased 6% to $374 per square foot on a trailing 12 month basis. Core portfolio occupancy was 92.4% at the end of the first quarter driven by modest improvements across our malls and a year-over-year increase of 120 basis points in occupancy for our community centers, which are now 96.4% leased.

Our community center leasing team continue to produce strong leasing volume, and average rents increased by about 3% year-over-year. The community center spread for new leases was at 18.1%.

Our primary focus across our core malls is occupancy, and while mall re-leasing spreads