Australian shopping centre giant Westfield Corp. on Wednesday posted a US$582 million half-year net profit, driven by growth in income from its flagship American and British malls.
The firm, with manages Westfield Group's international interests after its Australian and New Zealand assets were spun off into a separate entity, said cash flow from operations after the split for the six months to December 31 was US$391 million.
Westfield added that its US$1.4 billion World Trade Center development in New York was "progressing well" and was more than 90 percent leased. The centre is expected to open in stages from late 2015.
Significant progress was also made on future developments worth US$9.0 billion, including projects in London, Los Angeles and Milan.
"Our capital investment is almost entirely weighted towards our flagship assets and is expected to create significant long-term value, with estimated development yields in the range of seven percent to eight percent," co-chief executive Steven Lowy said.
"Upon completion of these projects, we expect (Westfield Corp's) flagship assets will represent approximately 80 percent of the total portfolio and our business will be more evenly weighted between the US and UK-Europe."
Westfield Group, one of the world's largest shopping centre operators, split its empire in July.
Its Australian and New Zealand businesses, including 47 malls, merged with Westfield Retail Trust to form the new entity, called Scentre.
Scentre on Tuesday reported a net profit of Aus$1.28 billion (US$1.0 billion) for the six months to December 31, with cash flow from operations at Aus$578 million.
Westfield Corp. added that its board asked co-chief executive Peter Lowy, who had been due to leave his role after the restructure, to "reconsider his decision to step down from his executive position".
"The board is pleased to announce that Peter has agreed to remain as co-CEO together with Steven Lowy," the company said.
The Australian-listed company said it expected cash flow from operations to grow four percent this year, excluding the sale of some of its US shopping malls assets to a joint venture with US real estate investment firm O'Connor Capital Partners.
Westfield shares were up 0.49 percent to Aus$10.19 in early afternoon trade.