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SAO PAULO, March 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian mall operator BR Malls Participações on Wednesday reported an annual 464 percent fall in net income in the fourth quarter as an economic downturn combined with an adjustment in property values weighed on results.
BR Mall's 147.6 million real net loss was well below a consensus estimate of a 68.81 million reais net profit compiled by Thomson Reuters. For the first time in history, BR Malls reported a fall in same-store-sales, it said.
BR Malls's results were severely impacted by net operating expenses of 837.3 million in the quarter which were mainly driven by adjustments in the fair value of BR Malls's properties.
Excluding these adjustments, net profit would have been 114 million reais last quarter, the company said.
"We noted in the beginning of the year that 2016 would be the most challenging of our history. The expectation was confirmed," BR Malls said referring to store vacancies, delinquency and tight credit markets.
As a result, same-store-sales fell by 0.6 percent in the quarter and 0.5 percent last year, the first drop since the company was created a decade ago, BR Malls said.
Total store sales came in at 6.7 billion reais, a 2.2 percent drop.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a gauge of operating profitability, fell sharply by 330 percent to a negative 542.3 million reais, missing an estimate of 296.4 million reais positive EBITDA.
Without the adjustment related to the fair value of properties, EBITDA would have been in line with forecasts. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler)