Simon Property Group Inc , the largest owner of U.S. malls and outlet centers, reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit, on higher rents, occupancies and sales at its tenants' stores.

Simon said on Friday that funds from operations (FFO), a closely watched measure of real estate investment trust (REIT)earnings, rose to $802.8 million, or $2.21 per share, in the quarter, from $720.1 million, or $1.99 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Analysts, on average, expected Simon's third-quarter FFO to be $2.16 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

FFO usually excludes gains or losses from property sales and removes the effect depreciation has on earnings.