Simon Property Group's (SPG) second-quarter funds from operations rose 19.5% as higher occupancy rates and rents helped results. The real estate investment trust reported funds from operations, which exclude depreciation, of $583 million, or $1.65 a share, for the three months ended June 30. Funds from operations for the year ago were $487.7 million, or $1.38 a share. Simon Property earned $205.1 million, or 70 cents a share, for the second quarter, up from $152.5 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 11.5% to $1.04 billion from $933.6 million a year ago. Chairman and CEO David Simon said growth was driven by higher revenue from the company's core portfolio and gains from acquisitions, as well. Occupancy rates rose to 93.5% from 93.1% a year earlier and total sales per square foot at the company's malls and outlet centers climbed 9.4% to $513 from $469 a year ago. The average rent increased to $39.70 a square foot from $38.62 last year. Simon Property plans to 37 new anchor/big box stores this year with another 15 set to open in 2012 and 2013. The company boosted its estimates for 2011 and now expects to report earnings of $2.74 to $2.82 a share with funds from operations between $6.65 to $6.73. Write to Jason Philyaw.