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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI—Retail related to gaming interests will be a growth avenue for Taubman Centers, which continues to expand both in the United States and Asia, executives said at its fourth quarter conference call.

The company is negotiating to increase its 30% stake in the Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, NJ, to 50% ownership. Developed by the Gordon Group, Taubman assumed full management of the center in January. In addition, the company’s Taubman Asia division expects to complete definitive agreements to provide development leasing and management services for the retail portion of Macao Studio City in Macao.

“We believe in casino retail and will continue to look at these types of projects,” said Robert Taubman, chairman, president and CEO.

Macao recently overtook Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenues, but remains under-retailed.

“Macao has 26 sf of retail per hotel room, versus 380 sf of retail in Las Vegas,” Taubman noted. The company will own a minority position in the center, which is being negotiated.

Taubman Asia also is providing development services on the 1.2 million square foot retail and entertainment complex in New Songdo City, Incheon, South Korea. The center will begin construction this year and is expected to open in early 2010.

“Our Taubman Asia could drive our external growth,” Taubman said. “We continue to grow our pipeline judiciously.”

In the United States, development remains on track on The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, MI, which is scheduled to open in October. Also opening this year are expansions of Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, MI, and Stamford (CT) Town Center, and a new Nordstrom at Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Denver.

“We have a lot we’re working on between 2007 and 2011,” when City Creek Center, an urban mixed-use development in Salt Lake City is expected to open, Taubman said.

For the fourth quarter, funds from operations (FFO) was $68.6 million, up from $50.7 million the previous year. For the year, FFO was $210.4 million, up from $177.7 million in 2005. Net income for the fourth quarter was $20.9 million, compared with earnings of $61.39 million the previous year. Net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006 was $45.1 million, down from $71.7 million the previous year. Net income during 2005 included a $52.8 million gain on the sale of Woodland Mall (Grand Rapids, MI), which occurred during the fourth quarter.

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