Australian retail property giant Westfield has today announced net profit of AUS $800.1 million (£534.4 million) for its half year, an increase of 31 per cent on the same period last year.
The shopping centre owner raised $4.8 billion of gross proceeds following the completion of a number of transactions over its first half to June 30th 2012 in accordance with a strategic plan outlined in 2010.
While comparable net property income across its operations in the US and Australia/New Zealand rose 2.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively, the group described the UK’s position only as “steady”, though emphasised the importance of the long-awaited Olympic Games on sales at its London-based centres.
“Our most recent highlight was the performance of Stratford City that was showcased to the world during the London Olympics,” Co-CEO Steven Lowy AM said.
“In total, approximately 5.5 million visits were made to our centre in just over two weeks, giving the Group an unprecedented exposure to a global audience.”
Lowy also noted that the two centres are expected to attract around 60 million customers spending some £1.8 billion over the course of the year.
However, the Stratford centre risked denting sales and footfall during the course of the Games as it closed its doors during the first weekend of the event, meaning that only official Olympic attendees could enter the mall.
Despite this setback, Co-CEO’s Steven and Adam Lowy believe that the international group is well-positioned to perform strongly going forward.
“We are confident in the future of the Group’s business model and opportunities for growth,” they said.
“We continue to pursue our strategic plan focussed on investing and developing world class iconic retail destinations in major cities globally that are highly productive, create strong franchise value and are resilient through economic cycles.
“We continue to assess new investment opportunities both in existing and new markets.”