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Homewares, mini majors drive GPT’s quarter

Artist Impression_SunshinePlaza_CornmealPromenade CloseUpStronger retail sales in February and March have underpinned a positive third quarter for shopping centre owner GPT Group.

The listed landlord said on Thursday that its comparable moving annual turnover was up 2.1 per cent for the three months ended 31 March, up from the 1.7 per cent booked in the second quarter.

Combined specialty and minimajor comparable MAT also gained momentum, growing by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter compared to 3.1 per cent in the second.

Consecutive 8 per cent increases in retail sales in February and March drove the stronger performance, offsetting a slower 4.1 per cent increase in sales during January.

By category mini majors, up 13.5 per cent, and homewares retailers, up 15.7 per cent were the strongest performers driving GPT’s MAT measure.

Department stores were weaker, declining 4.5 per cent during the quarter, while discount department stores were down 2.3 per cent.

Apparel MAT growth declined by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter, while food retail was down 0.7 per cent and jewellery down 4.5 per cent.

Retail services was up 10 per cent, while general retail increased by 7.1 per cent and supermarkets by a flat 0.2 per cent.

Retail specialty sales were up slightly to $11,307 per square metre at 31 March.

“The performance of the retail portfolio continues to demonstrate both the quality of the portfolio and the successful outcomes achieved by the management team,” chief executive and managing director Bob Johnston said.

GPT has delayed its $420 million expansion of Sunshine Plaza, saying it has been impacted by significant wet weather during the third quarter. The project is now expected to open on a staged basis from late 2018, with completion by 2Q2019.

The landlord said on Thursday it expects funds from operations per security growth of 3 per cent for the full year 2018.

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