By Gabriela Mello
SAO PAULO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian upscale mall operator Iguatemi Empresa de Shopping Centers SA is eyeing even better results in upcoming months, after topping market expectations in the third quarter as sales and customer flow improve amid positive signs of an economic recovery.
"October was better than the third quarter and we feel more enthusiasm from consumers and shopkeepers," Iguatemi Chief Financial Officer Cristina Betts told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
In addition to a slightly better economic outlook, seasonal events such as Black Friday and Christmas are also positive catalysts in the fourth quarter, she added.
Iguatemi, which has a portfolio of 16 malls, two premium outlets and four commercial towers, posted net income of 86.9 million reais ($21.26 million) in the third quarter, 32.5% higher than a year ago. Analysts on average expected a net profit of 69.76 million reais, according to Refinitiv data.
Quarterly revenue rose 2.7% to 182.4 million reais, with same-store sales rising 3.1% and same-store rent climbing 8.8% from a year ago.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 19.4% to 168.5 million reais, beating a consensus estimate of 141.25 million reais.
Betts said Iguatemi does not plan to start any new projects for now, as it focuses on adjusting its existing portfolio by selling non-core assets and increasing stakes in malls in which it is already a minority shareholder.
On Oct. 9, the company sold a 30% stake in Shopping Iguatemi Florianópolis, located in the southern state of Santa Catarina, to smaller rival Lumine for 110.25 million reais.
Iguatemi shares have risen around 19% so far in 2019.
($1 = 4.0880 reais) (Reporting by Gabriela Mello Editing by Bill Berkrot)