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Centro Retail Reports Loss on Restructure Costs, Litigation

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Centro Retail Australia reported a A$222.9 million ($230.8 million) loss in its first seven months of operations, primarily due to costs related to its restructure and shareholder litigation.

Underlying earnings in the period to June 30 was A$123.2 million, driven by income from its malls, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

Centro Retail began trading in December following the restructure of Centro Properties Group and its affiliated funds. Shares of the property trust, which sold full and partial stakes in some of its malls as it sought to simplify its business and boost income, have risen 21 percent since it began trading on Dec. 5, compared with a 0.9 percent advance in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index in the period.

“Centro Retail exceeded both its distributions and underlying earnings forecasts,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Sewell said in the statement. “This solid operating profit performance was achieved through a combination of good property level performance, control of costs and savings on Centro Retail’s finance facilities.”

The company will pay a dividend of 6.5 Australian cents per security, it said. The group expects underlying profit of between 15.3 and 15.6 cents for fiscal year 2013, it said.

Centro shares climbed 0.5 percent to A$2.10 as of the close of trading in Sydney.

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