Weeks after emerging from bankruptcy, General Growth Properties (GGP) revealed a widened fourth-quarter loss amid higher impairment and legal costs as part of its overhaul.

The Chicago-based company posted a net loss of $1.14 billion, or $3.07 a share, compared with a loss of $612.4 million, or $1.96 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Funds from operations, a key profitably metric for real-estate-investment trusts, was 26 cents a share, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of a 91-cent loss.

Revenue for the operator of regional shopping malls was $726 million, down from $2.8 billion a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $751.79 million.

The company, which manages 169 malls, emerged from bankruptcy in November with a $7 billion recapitalization led by Brookfield Asset Management.

“The fourth quarter 2010 was a defining moment for GGP and it set the stage for us to build the best retail real estate company in the country,” said Sandeep Mathrani, General Growth’s new chief executive as of Jan. 17. “We now have focus and commitment to drive revenue and invest capital with discipline to create value for our shareholders.”

Quarterly earnings were hit by a $17.8 million increase in general and administrative expenses, due primarily to incurrence after emergence of legal, consultant and other costs, partially offset by the sale of its Third Party Management Company.

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