Scentre Group confirms forecast following strong quarter

WestfieldWestfield shopping centre owner Scentre Group still expects to see approximately 4 per cent growth in funds from operation (FFO) in 2018, a year in which it opened four redevelopments in Australia, representing an over AU$1 billion ($1.07 billion) investment in bricks-and-mortar retail.

The forecast, provided on Wednesday in an operating update for the third quarter of CY18, is in line with Scentre Group’s previous forecast for the year to December 31.

The company also reported that occupancy was in excess of 99.5 per cent for the quarter to September 30, and that total specialty in-store retail sales have increased by 2 per cent for the year.

In Australia, Scentre Group has opened four redevelopments so far this year and its first greenfield site, which collectively have added approximately 106,000sqm of space to its portfolio of Westfield shopping centres.

The over AU$1 billion ($1.07 billion) investment in the projects reflect the company’s aim to “own and operate the preeminent living centre portfolio in Australia and New Zealand”.

“Each redevelopment has been designed to elevate the customer experience, differentiate our product offering and maintain our position as the premium location for our retailers to succeed,” Scentre Group CEO Peter Allen said.

Allen said the completion of the company’s first greenfield site, Westfield Coomera, last month was a pivotal moment for the business and set a new standard for the industry.

“It is an example of the full evolution from shopping centre to living centre where we have curated an exceptional retail, services and product mix for our customers, with more than 40 per cent of the centre dedicated to dining, leisure, entertainment and services. Visitation at this newly created centre has exceeded our expectations.”

The Coomera centre joins the redevelopments of Westfield Carousel, which opened its doors in August in Perth, Westfield Kotara, which opened in October in Newcastle, and Westfield Tea Tree Plaza, which opened its doors in October in Adelaide.

In New Zealand, Scentre Group’s $790 million redevelopment of Westfield Newmarket is currently underway.

This story originally appeared on sister-site Inside Retail Australia.

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