Simon Property Group said in the latest quarter vacancy rates held steady and rents edged higher as its tenants' sales rose 6.6% from a year earlier.

The company saw "a healthy acceleration of sales growth," chairman and chief executive David Simon. "The year is off to a positive start."

Simon also said the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the company's $700m acquisition of Prime Outlets Inc. announced in December.

"We have met with the FTC, and are fully cooperating in that review," he told analysts and investors on a conference call, adding that antitrust authorities have "consistently recognized that the retail real-estate industry is highly competitive and fragmented."

Wall Street Journal