Plenty has been keeping Charter Hall Retail busy after the company gave an operational update for the first quarter of the 2013 financial year.

During the quarter the REIT contracted to sell the Mile End Homemaker Centre in Adelaide and acquired three supermarket anchored shopping centres funded from a $100 million institutional placement. This brings REIT’s Australian portfolio to comprise of 75 shopping centres.
The three new acquisitions includes Tamworth City Plaza, Dubbo Shopping Centre and the remaining 50 per cent of Lake Macquarie Fair and Mount Hutton Shopping Centre.
The company also completed 68 new leases and renewals across the Australian portfolio, delivering specialty rental rate growth of 3.5 per cent and maintaining occupancy at 98.5 per cent. Same property net operating income growth for the Australian portfolio for the 12 months to September 2012 was in line with expectations at 3.6 per cent.
The REIT’s Australian specialty tenants delivered moving annual turnover (MAT) growth of 2.0 per cent during the period, with a low sustainable occupancy cost of 8.7 per cent. Anchor tenant MAT growth for stores in turnover for the first quarter was 3.9 per cent, highlighting the resilience of the REIT's non-discretionary Australian portfolio. 

“We are pleased to report the continued strength and stability of our Australian portfolio, driven by a high proportion of non-discretionary retail stores and the ongoing performance of our anchor tenants, Coles and Woolworths,” Scott Dundas, fund manager of the REIT, said.
The REIT’s strategy to exit the European market is progressing, with all five Polish assets currently being marketed for sale. The European portfolio has maintained its occupancy at 97.6 per cent.
During the quarter, the REIT also finalised the sale of a small asset in the United States at Northlake in Atlanta Georgia for US$3.4 million, in line with book value.

“At this point in the cycle, we will continue to look at opportunities to enhance our portfolio through refurbishments and redevelopments, while also looking for future acquisition opportunities that meet our strict investment criteria.” Dundas said.