Scentre Group, the Australasian shopping centre owner, is selling its four remaining 100 per cent-owned shopping centres in New Zealand.
The move follows its $2.1 billion deal, announced in November, to sell 49 per cent of its other five Westfield malls to the Singaporean Government Investment Corporation.
The GIC deal involved four Auckland malls – Albany, Newmarket and St Lukes, which have all been earmarked for development, and Manukau – plus Riccarton in Christchurch.
The remaining four malls now involved in the sales process are WestCity and Glenfield in Auckland, Chartwell in Hamilton, and Queensgate in Lower Hutt, the Australian parent said in a statement.
The ASX-listed Scentre Group on Tuesday posted a net profit of $A1.3b ($NZ1.35b) for the six months ended December 31.
The group, which operates 47 malls in Australia and New Zealand and has $A40.9b worth of assets under management, was set up at the end of June 2014 following the merger of the Australian and New Zealand operations of Westfield Group with the Westfield Retail Trust and comparisons, therefore, can’t be made with the previous year.
Chairman Frank Lowy said he was pleased with the success of the merger and with the full-year operational results, in particularly with comparable specialty store sales in Australia which were up 3.6 per cent, both for the quarter and the 12 months.
New Zealand speciality sales were up 2.3 per cent.
“We believe the portfolio will generate strong long term growth and risk adjusted returns,” he said.
As at the end of December, comparable net operating income across Australia and New Zealand increased 2.2 per cent.
Settlement of the GIC deal, New Zealand’s largest property sale last year, is expected in the first quarter of this year and will deliver the group around $1.036 million in gross proceeds. It will leave the group with debt gearing of 34.9 per cent and with $A1.9b in New Zealand assets.
By Fiona Rotherham