Effective focus on creating community hubs with a clear value and convenience offering has helped Stockland’s retail division reap $310 million in profit for 2012 financial year, an 8 per cent increase from last year’s results.

The company also reported its comparable moving annual turnover growth of 2.9 per cent while portfolio occupancy of 99.4 per cent.

According to Stockland, its clear vision is helping to insulate the company from the threat of online shopping. At the same time, it also looks forward to the opening of its three major projects under construction – Merrylands, Townsville and Shellharbour – each of which are on track for opening on time.

Despite a fairly strong performance by its retail division the overall challenging operating environment faced by Stockland was not enough to lift it up from a 35 per cent drop in  statutory profit on the prior year to $487 million.

Meanwhile, underlying profit was $676.1 million, down 7 per cent on 2011 financial year.

Managing director Matthew Quinn said the company has retained relatively low gearing and tight control of costs and have undertaken significant restructuring to improve the company’s efficiency in 2013 financial year.

“Our strategy of delivering high quality and affordable residential, shopping and retirement living for middle Australia continues to prove sound in the current market, with solid results in our Retail and Retirement Living businesses and strong Residential sales volumes in a very soft market,” he said.

“A highlight of this result was the solid performance of our Retail business reflecting its focus on providing value and convenience and the skew towards growing regional areas.

“Each of these core businesses is well positioned for the future with a secure pipeline of projects and strong market fundamentals, including population growth, creating demand for our products.”