Retail real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield managed to generate higher profits in 2018 than predicted. For the next two years, the group intends to dispose of four billion euros worth of shopping centres, mostly in continental Europe.
Only worried about the Netherlands
URW was founded at the end of 2017 after the acquisition of Australian company Westfield by French-Dutch Unibail-Rodamco. In 2018, URW generated 12.92 euros of profit per share: a 7.2 % increase compared to the previous year and better than the company's own expectations of 12.75 to 12.90 euros. Recurring net profits skyrocketed by almost 40 % to more than 1.6 billion euros.
In continental Europe, rent revenue increased by 4 %. The only source of concern is the Netherlands, where comparable rent revenue decreased by 3.5 %. British rent revenue increased by 3.4 %, but in the United States, rental income ended a bit lower (- 1.6 %), although the situation does look better than it did half a year ago. Net rent revenue was 2.16 billion euros (1.92 billion of which came from shopping centres, the rest from offices and exhibitions).
At the end of December, the total value of URW's real estate portfolio was 65.2 billion euros. Last year, the group sold two billion euros (of the planned three billion) worth of property. Four billion more will be added to that in the coming years, the company announced.