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Rents, renovations deliver for Westfield

Petrina Berry  |  24 Aug 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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BRISBANE - [AAP] Scentre Group (ASX: SCG), the owner of Westfield shopping centres in Australia, has increased its half-year profit to $1.4 billion and expects further improvement in its underlying performance in the second half of 2017.

Scentre's net profit in the six months to June 30 was up 22 per cent from the same period in the prior year, as the value of its properties increased by $929 million.

That was driven by the completion of the redevelopment of Westfield Chermside in Brisbane and improved operating income due to rent increases.

Funds from operations--income excluding changes in property values--rose 3.5 per cent to $638 million.

Scentre owns 39 Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, and said its portfolio remains more than 99.5 per cent leased.

Chief Executive Peter Allen said there was strong sales growth in food, dining and technology at Westfield centres in the half year.

Comparable specialty sales were up 1.5 per cent from a year earlier.

"The portfolio's high specialty sales productivity ensures strong demand from retailers wanting to generate growth in sales and customer engagement," Mr Allen said.

The group has reaffirmed its forecast for funds from operations to grow by about 4.25 per cent for the full year.

Scentre commenced $900 million of development projects in the first half of 2017, including upgrades of Westfield Carousel in Perth, Plenty Valley in Melbourne, and construction of a centre at Coomera on the Gold Coast.

Shares in Scentre were steady at $3.99 at 1300 AEST.

DEVELOPMENTS DELIVER FOR SCENTRE GROUP:

* Half year net profit up 22pct to $1.4bn

* Funds from operations up 3.5pct to $638.1m

* Interim dividend up 0.21 cents to 10.86 cents

 

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