Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) today announced a 3rd quarter operational update for the period ended 30 September 2023.
Scentre Group Chief Executive Officer Elliott Rusanow said: “Our strategy to attract more people to our Westfield destinations has continued to drive strong operating performance for our business.
“So far this year we have welcomed 410 million customer visitations which is 28 million or 7.4% more than the same period in 2022. On a rolling 12-month basis customer visitations now exceed 500 million.
“Creating more reasons for customers to visit and spend their time in our Westfield destinations has generated continued business partner sales growth. Total business partner sales for the 9 months to 30 September 2023 were $19.7 billion, $1.3 billion or 7.3% higher than the previous corresponding period in 2022. Total business partner sales on a rolling 12-month basis are $28.1 billion which is $2.5 billion or 9.8% higher than the previous corresponding period in 2022.
“Demand for space in our Westfield destinations continues to be strong with portfolio occupancy increasing to 99.1% at 30 September 2023, up from 98.8% at 30 September 2022. Average leasing spreads were +2.9% and average specialty rent escalations were +7.6% in the 9 months to 30 September 2023.
“Cash collections during the ten months to 31 October 2023 were $2,229 million, $100 million more than the prior comparable period in 2022.
“Our Westfield membership program continues to grow and now totals 3.7 million members. “The $355 million transformation of Westfield Knox continues and the next stage is on schedule to open in late November.
“We have commenced the $50 million (SCG share: $50 million) repurposing of department store space at Westfield Mt Gravatt to introduce Uniqlo, Harris Scarfe and a range of specialty stores. This will open throughout 2024.
“During the quarter, the Group executed new and extended funding facilities totalling $0.9 billion and repaid a €500 million bond that matured in September 2023.
“Progress continues on our pathway to net zero by 2030. Rooftop solar installations were completed at Westfield Hornsby and Westfield Tuggerah, following the installations at Westfield Fountain Gate and Westfield Knox earlier in the year. Together these installations will more than double the Group’s solar generation capacity from 5.9MW to 12.2MW.
“We were pleased to be awarded Global Sector Leader, Development in the 2023 GRESB Real Estate Assessment, ranking first amongst global retail peers for the third consecutive year.”
Subject to no material change in conditions, the Group reconfirms that it expects Funds from Operations to be in the range of 20.75 to 21.25 cents per security for 2023, representing 3.4% to 5.9% growth for the year. This equates to growth in FFO for the second half of 2023 of between 5.6% to 10.9%.
Distributions are expected to be at least 16.50 cents per security for 2023, representing at least 4.8% growth for the year.
Authorised by the Chief Executive Officer.