Westfield Group: Interim result 2012

Westfield's overseas shopping centres are performing strongly, but retail sales are stagnating at home.

Westfield Group’s recent half year result (it has a calendar year end) shows that its focus on massive flagship shopping centres is working. Retail sales within Westfield's shopping centres are growing faster than the wider retail industry, which allows Westfield to charge high rents and keep occupancy rates high. Funds from operations (the company's preferred measure of profitability) increased 3% to $751m due to rent increases and higher property development fees, as part of the company's strategy to increase return on equity. Westfield paid an interim distribution of 24.75 cents per security (ex date already passed), up from 24.20 cents in 2011. The company maintained its full year guidance of funds from operations of 65 cents.

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