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CFS Retail Trust Profit Surges 69% on Regional Center Sales

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Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- CFS Retail Property Trust, a real estate investment trust that invests in Australian shopping centers, reported a 69 percent jump in profit, beating analyst estimates, after sales at its regional shopping centers climbed and the value of its properties increased.

Net income rose to A$532.6 million ($558.9 million) in the year to June 30, from A$315 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange today. The forecast was for profit of A$416.75 million, according to the median of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

CFS Retail saw moving annual turnover across all its malls and outlet centers climb 5 percent in the year to June 30, with declines in department stores offset by rising sales at supermarkets, according to a regulatory filing on July 25. Consumers spent 0.4 percent more at food retailers in June, even as retail sales overall declined 0.1 percent, according to the statistics bureau earlier this month.

“The underlying fundamentals of the Australian retail property market have shown signs of recovery,” said Darren Steinberg, managing director for property at Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which manages the trust. “This is despite consumers remaining cautious in their spending habits.”

The integration of the four Direct Factory Outlet malls that CFS Retail agreed to buy last September contributed A$1.5 million to unbudgeted earnings, the company said.

CFS Retail will pay a dividend of 12.7 Australian cents a share for the financial year, the company said today. It reported a first-half net profit of A$346.5 million in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at Nsaminather1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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