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Scentre Group boosts leasing rate, turnover rebounds

(Source: Bigstock.)

Scentre Group, which operates Westfield-branded shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, says it finished last year with a leasing rate of 98.7 per cent across its portfolio. 

CEO Peter Allen says the company signed off 2497 lease deals, including 1090 with new merchants and added 267 new brands to its portfolio last year. The group has an interest in 41 shopping centres across the two countries.

“We continue to drive strong demand for space in our Westfield Living Centres from existing and new businesses who are focused on growing their customer engagement and optimising their most productive stores with us,” Allen said in a results statement.

The high occupancy – together with a strong footfall of 413 million customer visits – propelled annual sales of $22.1 billion, despite the extended lockdowns in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Auckland during the year. 

That fuelled an operating profit of $845.8 million that translated into a 10.9-per-cent lift in return on securities. With the inclusion of unrealised, non-cash items the company’s statutory result for the year was a profit of $887.9 million, a significant turnaround from the $3.732 billion loss of the previous year driven by negative portfolio revaluations. 

Allen said the Scentre Group team delivered better results last year than in 2020, despite increased Covid-19 restrictions which saw 81 trading days lost to government restrictions compared with 31 in 2020.

“This demonstrates our proactive approach to generating long-term value for our security holders. We have positioned the group for growth for many years to come.”

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