Earnings season wrap-up: 27 February
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
Companies covered in this report:
Westfield rings up rise in FY profit, dividend
Westfield Group (WDC) on Wednesday announced an 18.3 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit to $1.72 billion for the year to 31 December 2012.
The result was achieved on the back of a 0.3 per cent rise in funds from operations (FFO) to $1.47 billion or 65 cents per security, the global shopping centre giant said.
"The performance for the year has been very good and in line with expectations," Westfield Group joint CEOs Peter and Steven Lowy said in a statement.
The company declared a full-year dividend of 49.5 cents per security, an increase of 2.3 per cent on the previous year and slightly above Morningstar's forecast for a distribution of 48.4 cents.
Westfield said its assets under management in 2012 stood at $64.4 billion, an increase of $2.1 billion on the prior year.
As of 31 December 2012, Westfield said it had total assets of $35.9 billion, a gearing ratio of 32.5 per cent and available liquidity of $6.0 billion.
Westfield said it expects to achieve FFO for 2013 of 66.5 cents per security, as well as a distribution of 51.0 cents per security, up 3 per cent on 2012.
The company extended its on-market buyback program for 12 months.
Also on Wednesday, Westfield Retail Trust (WRT), which holds Australian and New Zealand shopping centre assets, announced a full-year profit after tax of $830.8 million or 27.21 cents per stapled security, down 2.2 per cent on the prior year.