While the global economy has slowed substantially in the past couple of months, The Westfield Group has remained strong, reporting on the completion of nine major developments at a cost of $5.6 billion.
While chairman of Westfield Frank Lowy acknowledges that they are not immune to the crisis, the group planned ahead, repositioning the company to strengthen the balance sheets.
They had a clear strategy to “own the best shopping centres in the best markets.”
He said they are in a solid position in the current climate, claiming “shopping centres are irreplaceable components of urban and suburban infrastructure” and that consumers will continue to shop, no matter what the climate.
“They (shopping centres) are attractive to retailers and shoppers and continue to perform well relative to lesser assets, even when times are tough. They outperform in good times, and are resilient during economic downturns.”
He pointed to signs of resilience within the Australian market, while income for the year ahead in the US and the UK will most likely decline.
“ We took all this into account when we made our forecasts earlier this year and our performance in the first quarter is consistent with those assumptions.”