Scentre Group’s solid first-half

Tag Heuer WestfieldThe operator of the Westfield brand in Australia, Scentre Group, has lifted first-half profit 6.6 per cent to $1.154 billion.

Total revenue for the six months to June 30 declined 5.2 per cent to $1.276 billion, but net profit improved on the $1.083 billion for the prior corresponding period as Scentre cut its expenses by $31.1 million.

Funds from operation, the company’s preferred measure of performance, rose two per cent to $617 million or 11.61 cents per security, and Scentre says it is on track to achieve its full-year forecast of approximately three per cent growth.

“We are pleased with these half year results which reflect the benefits of focussing on the highest quality shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand,” said Peter Allen, CEO, Scentre Group. “Our portfolio is well positioned to continue to deliver long term growth.”

Earlier this month the Group announced that, jointly with Cbus Property, it had purchased the David Jones Market Street building in Sydney’s CBD. On completion, Scentre Group will own the redeveloped retail site adding an additional 10,000 square metres of luxury retail space.

“Having completed the acquisition of the adjacent David Jones building, we have the unique opportunity to expand Westfield Sydney, which has the highest specialty sales productivity in Australia, reinforcing the precinct as Sydney’s luxury retail destination” said Allen.

Scentre Group owns and operates interests in 40 Westfield shopping centres, including 16 of the top 25 performing centres in Australia, and has assets under management of $43.3 billion.

Comparable specialty sales in the portfolio grew 4 per cent for the twelve months and 2.5 per cent for the six months to 30 June 2016, with average specialty sales increasing to $11,000 per square metre. Strong sales growth was seen in the jewellery, leisure and health & beauty categories.

“Our shopping centres continue to experience strong demand from retailers, demonstrating the benefits of the high sales productivity across the portfolio,” said Allen.

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