Westfield ups disposals, scales back development

Westfield’s parent company has scaled new developments pipeline and increased disposals, as net retail income fell across its UK centres last year.

Unibail Rodamco Westfield reported a 4.2 per cent decline in like-for-like net rental income in the UK for the year to 31 December – making it the worst performing region for the group, as the US and continental Europe recorded growth of 2.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.

However, footfall across UK centres for the same full-year period was up 2.8 per cent, marginally outperforming the wider shopping centre index.

Tenant sales also rose by 4.7 per cent and vacancies across the portfolio fell from 8.7 per cent at 30 June to 7.7 per cent by the end of 2019.

The full-year results also included an announcement on scaling back the group's development pipeline from €11.9 billion to €8.3 billion.

Total disposals in 2019 were €1.3 billion, with a further disposal of a 54.2 per cent stake in five French shopping centres.

Unibail Rodamco Westfield added that there are ongoing discussions for further disposals in 2020, as they “are a critical part of its strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation”.

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