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Westfield Owner Confirms Guidance As Mall Traffic Grows

Westfield mall owner Scentre has confirmed its earning guidance as it gives a rosy update for the March quarter.

Scentre still expects to give at least 15 cents per share for the year, on track with the forecast it gave last month during its AGM.

“In light of the improving conditions and strong performance of our business, earnings are expected to grow in excess of 5.3 per cent in 2022,” Scentre Group CEO Peter Allen said.

Customer visitation to Westfield malls was 12 per cent higher during March than the year previous. Foot traffic was 16 per cent higher when excluding CBD centres, which are taking the longest to recover.

“We are seeing week-on-week improvement across our suburban and CBD based centres,” Allen said.

“Comparable majors and specialty sales” for March were up 11.2 per cent compared to pre-pandemic March 2019 sales. They were up 7.1 per cent for the quarter.

Gross rent collection for the first four months of the year was $800 million, with 536 lease deals signed in the March quarter – including 237 new merchants, and 50 new brands.

“We are confident about the future of our business, the sustained economic recovery across Australia and New Zealand and people’s ongoing desire to gather in our destinations, socialising with each other and interacting with businesses and brands across our platform,” Allen continued.

“The underlying structure of our revenue with inflation linked leases, provides long-term growth for our securityholders.”

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