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November, 2018 7:23 AM



Specialty retailers help fuel GPT's growth

Specialty retailers help fuel GPT's growth

Property investment and management group GPT has lifted its full-year profit 10 per cent, with speciality retailers boosting its shopping centre portfolio.

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By AAP 13.02.2018 04:35 PM

International specialty retailers, including Sephora and consumer electronic players JB Hi-Fi and Apple are offsetting department stores' sales declines, shopping centre owner GPT Group says.

GPT Group, which owns Australia Square in Sydney and Melbourne Central and Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne, has posted a 10 per cent lift in full-year profit to $1.27 billion.

Revenue for the 12 months to December 31 has risen 6.4 per cent to $1.65 billion with all segments - retail, offices and warehouse - contributing.

Chief financial officer Anastasia Clarke says the mini majors specialty retailers' 12.3 per cent sales growth had underprinned GPT's shopping precincts result.

"The mini majors category continues to outperform and this is due to the ongoing inclusion of international retailers into the mix such as Sephora and JD Sports, .... and to the expansion of domestic groups like Cotton On and Mecca," Ms Clarke said on Tuesday.

"We have seen outperformance in homewares with strong results across the portfolio for JB Hi-Fi and Apple," she added.

But, sales were down at department and discount stores, Ms Clarke said, and while menswear sales had improved, women's fashion had mixed results across different brands.

There had also been strong demand for retail services including laser and beauty clinics, but consumer spending on essentials outpaced that on discretionary items, Ms Clarke added.

"Consumers' share of wallet has shifted to items such as housing, financing and health. However, overall discretionary spend still sits at around 40 per cent of household consumption."

High occupancy levels and fixed specialty rent increases had also helped boost the company's retail portfolio revenue.

The group also recorded $717.7 million in valuation increases across its portfolio.

Shares in GPT slipped two cents to $4.83.

GPT GROUP LIFTS FULL YEAR PROFIT

* Profit up 10.1pct at $1.27b

* Revenue up 6.4pct at $1.65b

* Final dividend up 0.4 cents to 12.3 cents

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