The Westfield Group has announced its first result following the merger, reporting a net profit of $832.9 million for the six months to 31 December 2004. The distribution for the period was $875.7 million and represents 52.03 cents per stapled security.
The result was in line with forecasts contained in the Explanatory Memorandum for the merger of Westfield Holdings, Westfield Trust and Westfield America Trust which was completed in July 2004.
As at 31 December 2004, the Westfield Group had interests in 126 shopping centres with a value of approximately $41.9 billion1 comprising 20,600 retailers and approximately 10.0 million square metres of retail space.
Key highlights for the period include:
- a distribution of $875.7 million, representing 52.03 cents per stapled security for the six months to 31 December 2004;
- an increase in gross value of investments under management of 16% from $36.0 billion to $41.9 billion;
- the acquisition of interests in shopping centres and development assets totaling $3.4 billion â" including the Â£1.1 billion ($2.8 billion) acquisition of Duelguide in the United Kingdom and the formation of four new joint ventures with DB REEF in Australia;
- the completion of $1.1 billion of developments â" including the Groupâs largest project at Bondi Junction in Australia;
- a valuation uplift of $2.8 billion arising from the independent valuation of the Groupâs shopping centres during the period;
- an increase in net asset backing to $10.61 per security; and
- $8.5 billion of new financing facilities put in place with US$2.6 billion raised from the US public debt market and a further US$4.0 billion bank syndicated facility now available.
Managing Directors, Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said: âWe are very pleased with the successful completion of the merger of Westfield Holdings, Westfield Trust and Westfield America Trust which has created the worldâs largest listed retail property group (by market capitalisation) with a market capitalisation in excess of $28 billion.â
âOur ongoing operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom continue to perform well and we remain on track to deliver the forecasts that were issued at the time of the merger.â
âIt has been a very positive period for the Group and the significant acquisition and financing transactions undertaken over the last six months have been consistent with our merger rationale and provide a strengthened platform for our existing operations and for future growth.â
The directors confirm the forecasts contained in the Explanatory Memorandum for the distribution periods to 30 June 2006. The forecast distribution re-stated for the Groupâs financial year to 31 December 2005, is 106.5 cents per stapled security.