Westfield Holding reports 17.3% profit rise

23 August 2000

Countries: Australia

Westfield Holdings Limited, celebrating its 40th anniversary asa publicly listed company, today announced a profit after tax ofA$148.3 million for the year to 30 June 2000, up 17.3% on lastyear’s result of A$126.5 million. Westfield has reported 40 consecutive profit increases since itlisted in 1960. Financial highlights of the year included:
Earnings per share on a fully diluted basis were 28.13 cents,up 15.5% on last year.
The total dividend pay-out for the year will be 14.15 cents per share, up 15.2% on last year’s dividend of 12.28 cents. The final dividend of 7.71 cents per share will be paid on 29 September. The dividends continue to be 60% franked.
Sales revenue for 1999/00 was A$1.106 billion, an increase of 41.3% on the previous year’s figure of A$782.9 million; and
Shopping centre assets under management rose 26% to approximately A$21.0 billion. The Directors said that all existing areas of the business contributed to this year’s strong result. The major highlights of the year were- the company’s entry into the United Kingdom following the establishment of two joint ventures valued at more than A$2.5billion (UK1.0 billion) – firstly with Post Office Staff Superannuation Scheme for the Broadmarsh Centre in Nottingham and secondly with MEPC to purchase a portfolio of UK shopping centres from MEPC the success of the global redevelopment program, with projectsworth approximately A$925 million completed during the year and approximately A$4.2 billion worth of projects under construction and presently in the planning process; and the implementation of changes to the Board and senior management to support and drive the ongoing growth of the company. Other key events for the Group during the year were:

– strong retail sales growth, particularly in the US and Australia, emphasising the underlying strength of the shopping centres we operate strong demand in all markets from retailers for both existing shopping centre space and the new space being created through the Group’s global redevelopment program;

– the acquisition by Westfield America, Inc. of Palm Desert Town Center in Palm Springs, California for US$82 million (A$140million) and the acquisition by Westfield Trust of an interest in Carindale Shopping Centre in Brisbane for A$92 million; and

– the amalgamation of the New Zealand shopping centre interests of Westfield Trust and St Lukes Group which involved Westfield Trust outlaying NZ$570 million (A$450 million).

Australia and New Zealand

Managing Director Steven Lowy said: “It has been a particularly active year for the Australian and New Zealand redevelopment programs.

“In Australia, three projects with a combined value of A$725million – Westfield Carousel in Perth, Chatswood in Sydney andS outhland in Melbourne – were completed during the year. The A$300 million redevelopment of Westfield Burwood in Sydney opened last week. “In New Zealand, the NZ$100 million redevelopment of Glenfieldand the first stage of the NZ$80 million redevelopment of West Cityare due to open before the end of the year. “The success of these projects gives us confidence for our futurere development program.”

The next wave of Australian redevelopment projects includes theA$235 million redevelopment of Westfield Chermside in Brisbane,which will be completed next month. Work has commenced on the A$190 million redevelopment of Westfield Fountain Gate in Melbourne andA$350 million redevelopment of Westfield Hornsby in Sydney.Planning for the major redevelopment of Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney, a joint venture with AMP, is well under way with workexpected to start next year.In New Zealand, the NZ$1 billion redevelopment program includesprojects planned for Riccarton Mall in Christchurch, QueensgateShopping Centre in Wellington and at St Lukes, Manukau andPakuranga shopping centres in Auckland. There are also plans todevelop new centres at Newmarket and Albany, both in Auckland.

The introduction of the Westfield Shopping town brand to New Zealand will be launched officially later this year.

“The company’s objective is for New Zealand shoppers and retailers- like shoppers and retailers in Australia and the US – to associate the Westfield brand with a superior shopping experience that includes consistent commitment to quality retailing, customer service and involvement with the local community,” Mr Steven Lowy said.

Work on the development of the Internet Shopping town is continuing and the company is satisfied with its progress.

United States of America

Managing Director Peter Lowy said: “This year we undertook thelargest redevelopment program in the history of the company inAmerica.

“During the year, we completed the redevelopments of WestfieldShoppingtowns Connecticut Post and Meriden in Connecticut, MidRivers and Crestwood in Missouri and Mission Valley West inCalifornia with a value of approximately US$120 million.

“In addition, construction is currently underway at six projectswith a combined value of approximately US$540 million including theUS$230 million redevelopment of West County in Missouri and US$165million redevelopment of Valley Fair in California.”

The other current redevelopment projects are WestfieldShoppingtowns Independence Mall, North Carolina; South County,Missouri; Annapolis Mall, Maryland; and Parkway Plaza,California.

Two additional projects – Westfield Shoppingtowns Promenade,California and Montgomery Mall, Maryland – are due to commencelater this year.

Mr Peter Lowy also said: “The Westfield Shoppingtown brand,introduced in late 1998, has become recognised in the US asoffering a quality shopping experience. Reception of the brand, byboth shoppers and retailers, has exceeded expectations.”

During the year, Westfield Holdings obtained the retail managementrights for San Antonio International Airport and extended itsmanagement contract at Newark International Airport (Terminal C).Westfield Holdings now manages six airport retailing precincts: SanAntonio, Newark, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, DullesInternational Airport, Boston Logan Airport (Terminal D) andOrlando International Airport.


Assets under management have grown substantially this year and theDirectors believe that the company is well placed to achieveincreased profits in the coming year and in the future.