Australia's Scentre profit beats forecast on steps to reinvent retail space
(Adds details, guidance, CEO quote)
Aug 21 (Reuters) - Australian shopping mall owner Scentre
Group said on Tuesday its underlying half-year profit
rose 3 percent, beating analysts' forecasts as a strategy of
revamping assets to offset a slowdown in brick-and-mortar retail
Funds from operations (FFO), the primary earnings metric of
the company, came in at A$657.2 million ($480.81 million),
surpassing an average forecast of A$646.6 million compiled by
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. FFO was A$638.1 million the previous
Scentre, the owner of Australian malls branded with the
Westfield Corp logo, said it expects FFO growth of
about 4 percent for 2018 and distribution per security growth of
about 2 percent to 22.16 cents per share.
Like its former owner Westfield, Scentre has been building
up non-traditional attractions like cinemas and luxury dining at
its malls to juice more rent from tenants and offset the
downturn in brick-and-mortar shopping.
Speaking on the company's increasing focus on diversifying
its retail space offerings, Chief Executive Peter Allen said,
"We are making excellent progress on our customer-focussed
strategy and real-time ability to act on customer feedback."
"This has enabled us to curate a unique product and service
mix in each of our living centres and create places that people
want to visit."
Comparable net operating income grew 2.5 percent compared to
2.6 percent growth last year.
($1 = 1.3669 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Devika Syamnath in
Editing by Byron Kaye and James Dalgleish)
First Published: 2018-08-21 00:39:09
Updated 2018-08-21 00:57:22
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