Australian shopping centre giant Westfield is to spend an extra 3.0 billion pounds ($4.71 billion) expanding in Britain, a report said on Monday, as it banks on London's resilience to an economic downturn.
Steven Lowy, the group's co-chief executive, told The Australian newspaper the investment was set to be directed towards upgrading the Broadway centre in Bradford and expanding its Westfield London centre in Shepherds Bush.
Westfield, one of the world's biggest shopping centre operators, could also redevelop a shopping centre south of London, it said.
"They are big numbers, headline numbers, but we have already invested almost 4.0 billion pounds sterling in two major shopping centres in London over the past few years," Lowy told the newspaper.
"We have plans for further investment in those assets and for other expansion."
Lowy said Westfield would continue to sell off lower-quality assets in favour of upmarket projects, such as the sprawling Westfield London, which opened in 2008.
"While the UK is still in recession and has been deeply impacted by the global financial crisis in Europe, London in particular has been shown to be a very resilient city, as has Paris (and) the major cities in Germany," he said.
"We believe in London for the long term."
Westfield has investment interests in 111 shopping malls in Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Brazil and Britain where it also has Westfield Stratford next to London's Olympic park.
Westfield posted a full-year net profit of Aus$1.53 billion (US$1.60 billion) in February, a 37.6 percent increase on the previous year.