Scentre Group defies retail gloom

Scentre Group, the owner-manager of most of Australia’s Westfield shopping centres, has announced results for the half-year ended June 30, with funds from operations coming in at $676.2 million. On a per-security basis, FFO was 12.76¢, up 3 per cent. Distribution was 11.3¢, up 2 per cent, and both were in line with expectations.

CEO Peter Allen said that the group was pleased with the results, which demonstrated “the long-term growth and sustainability of the business”.

He said total sales “increased to $24.4 billion, and our platform accounts for more than 7 per cent of all retail sales in Australia”. Occupancy is high at 93.3 per cent.

“An average specialty store in our portfolio generates annual in-store sales of more than $1.5 million and that is growing,” Allen said.

“We have curated a major shift towards experience-based offerings, which now represent 42 per cent of our portfolio,” which was accomplished while continuing to grow cashflow and distributions, he said.

During the half, the group released $2.1 billion of capital from the divestment of office towers in the Sydney CBD and the joint-venturing of Westfield Burwood. Allen said the capital was going to be used to fund future activities and also a planned $800 million security buy-back. 

Revamped Tweed Mall opens

Tweed Mall’s $6 million redevelopment of its Northern Mall has been officially opened by the shire’s mayor, Cr Katie Milne. The opening was also the first day of trade for the mall’s new Aldi store.

Tweed Mall is a single-level sub-regional shopping centre located near the Queensland border. The mall is already anchored by Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, as well as Target. 

The centre first opened in 1973 and is now home to 70 specialty retailers and has 943 carparks.

Tweed Mall is owned by the ASX-listed Elanor Retail Property Fund, an externally managed listed real estate investment fund investing in Australian retail property. Shopping Centre News reports that the fund invests in high investment-quality, non-discretionary, retail-based neighbourhood and sub-regional shopping centres. The centre is managed by RetPro.

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