Australian shopping centre giant Westfield Group on Wednesday posted a half-year net profit of Aus$650.9 million (US$680.4 million), buoyed by growth in its British operations.
The company, whose global portfolio has 124 shopping centres in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Britain, said the profit was down from Aus$960.9 million in the first half of calendar 2010.
Revenue for the six months to June 30 was 24.5 percent lower at Aus$1.35 billion while earnings before interest, tax, currency derivatives and property revaluations dropped 26.8 percent to Aus$955.2 million.
It was the first result for the group since it spun off half of its Australia and New Zealand assets into Westfield Retail Trust.
Joint chief executives Steven and Peter Lowy said the result "is consistent with our full-year earnings and distribution forecasts".
"It demonstrates the resilience of our business and the continuing improvement of our operating platform," they said.
Net property income, in local currency terms, rose eight percent in Australia/ New Zealand, was up one percent in the United States and jumped 36 percent in Britain.
"Our operating performance during the half year was particularly pleasing, notwithstanding the current environment, with income growth and comparable specialty sales growth in each of our regions," the Lowys added.
The result followed recent announcements that Westfield was broadening its portfolio into Brazil and Italy.
"We are focused on investing in shopping centres with strong franchise characteristics that are resilient through economic cycles, and achieve high levels of sales productivity and profitability for our retailers," the brothers said.
"We are confident in the future of the group's business model and we continue to execute our strategy by redeploying capital in order to deliver sustainable earnings growth and higher return on equity."