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Westfield Owner Slumps to $3.6 Billion Loss


The owner of Westfield malls – home to retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Myer and David Jones – has booked a $3.61 billion first-half loss, with significant write downs from the economic impact of COVID19.

The property conglomerate notched a $4.08 billion hit on valuations, with results contrasting a $740 million net profit the same time last year.

Westfield is considered one of Australia’s largest shopping mall providers, and according to its website operates 42 Westfield-branded centres.

During the first-half of the year, Scentre received 70% of gross rental billings, climbing up to over 80% by June and July.

Scentre claims more than 93% of its retail stores are open (exc. VIC), with portfolio occupancy 98.8% by the end of June.

The company has confirmed it will not be proving an earnings or distribution guidance.

The conglomerate asserts it is making progress on rent collection as restrictions ease, despite concerns of balance sheet stretches from commentators.

Scentre states gearing sat at 38.4% at the end June, with $4.4 billion available liquidity.

The company also took an expected credit charge of $232 million amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

First half operating earnings notched $361 million, with fund from operations of $362 million.

The news comes as the Australian retail industry continues to slug through stringent in-store parameters (e.g. maximum customer numbers), alongside soaring online shopping.

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