Simon Property Group Inc , the largest U.S. owner of malls and outlet centers, reported second-quarter funds from operations (FFO) rose more than 18 percent, easily beating estimates, and raised its outlook and dividend.

"We continue to deliver strong results as demonstrated by 5.1 percent growth in mall and Premium Outlets comparable property net operating income," David Simon, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The world's largest real estate company's second-quarter FFO rose to $688.8 million, or $1.89 per share, from $583.0 million, or $1.65 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 14 percent to $1.19 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected second-quarter FFO of $1.81 a share, on revenue of $1.16 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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

Simon again raised its FFO forecast for the year to a range of $7.60 to $7.70 per share from the previous $7.50 to $7.60. The company's forecasts tend to be conservative, and Simon more often than not raises them each quarter. Analysts expect $7.63 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Simon, the only real estate company in the Standard & Poor's 100 index, owns or has an interest in 336 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia.

Its portfolio includes some of the most popular U.S. malls, including Roosevelt Field Mall and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in New York; The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Las Vegas; and Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta.

The company, based in Indianapolis, raised its dividend for the fourth consecutive quarter, to $1.05 per share from $1.00 per share.

During the second quarter, sales at its U.S. core portfolio of malls and outlet centers rose 9 percent to $554 per square foot. Stronger sales attract tenants and eventually lead to higher rents. Landlords also take a share of tenants' sales.

Simon stock closed at $155.94, down 0.7 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Shares were inactive in premarket trade Tuesday.