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Westfield Earnings Plunge By 42.5% After Pandemic Rent Losses

Shopping centre giant Scentre, which operates Westfield malls, posted a devastating earnings plunge of 42.5 per cent to $766.1 million after COVID-19 ravaged its rental income.

The decline in rent collection saw Westfield chalk up $3.7 billion in losses – a 416 per cent reversal of the previous year’s profit.

“2020 was a challenging year and I am proud of how our people adapted to the conditions, leading the industry and our business,” chief executive Peter Allen said. “We were proactive and deliberate in the decisions we made.”

“We did not receive any financial support from the Australian or New Zealand governments, including the JobKeeper program. We led the industry in the development of the code of conduct, supporting small to medium sized businesses across the sector.”

Westfield is looking forward to a more profitable 2021, with the expectation it will distribute at least 14c to shareholders.

During the period, the mall landlord engaged in high-profile disputes with prominent tenants over rent collection – including Solomen Lew’s Premier Investments.

Westfield also locked out fashion retailer Mosaic Brands from its 129 stores over rent disputes.

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