Sales, rents rise at Westfield


WestfieldWestfield has enjoyed a rise in retail sales across its global shopping centre chain.

The mall owner says first quarter sales for its Australian, New Zealand, American, and British centres were all stronger in the March quarter.

Total retail sales for its Australian centres rose 2.8 per cent and by 1.7 per cent in NZ.

Australian specialty stores, which include fashion and footwear shops, lifted sales 4.4 per cent.

One of the strongest performers were speciality jewellery shops, which enjoyed a 10.8 per cent lift.

Sales at the cinemas housed within local Westfield centres fell 3.5 per cent, while discount department store stales dropped 4.7 per cent.

“Our Australian portfolio remains in a strong position and since the third quarter of last year we have seen an improving trend in the retail sales environment,” joint chief executive Steven Lowy said.

Elsewhere, specialty retail sales in the US rose 3.1 per cent and by 1.6 per cent at Westfield’s two London centres.

Rents for the speciality stores across Westfield’s global centres all rose during the quarter.

Average specialty rents in Australia rose 1.6 per cent to $1,536 per sqm, while in NZ they were up half a per cent, by 5.1 per cent in the UK, and three per cent in the US.

Westfield plans to split its Australian and New Zealand assets, which include 47 shopping centres, from its international operations.

The group hopes to merge those assets with Westfield Retail Trust, a joint owner of the Australian shopping centres.

Security holders are due to vote on the split on May 29.



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