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Brazil's BR Malls says it expects all units to by operating by July

SAO PAULO, June 4 (Reuters) - BR Malls Participacoes SA , Brazil's biggest mall operator, expects all its malls to have restarted operations by July, the company said in a statement alongside its first-quarter results release on Thursday.

"The expectation is that in July all of our businesses are open to the public," the company said.

Eighteen of BR Malls' units remain closed, while 11 have reopened after the novel coronavirus forced widespread closures throughout the country.

The firm reported first-quarter net income of 130 million reais ($25.4 million), down 24% from the same period a year ago, as the pandemic severely ate into profits in the second half of March.

(Reporting by Aluísio Alves; Writing by Gram Slattery; editing by Diane Craft)