A 6 per cent increase in net property income during the half year and a 50 per cent increase in management and development income has been main drivers for Westfield Group’s (WDC) solid half year results to 30 June 2011.

The company has reported that half year result earnings of $651 million. It is the first time half year results have been reported since the restructure of the group in 2010 with the establishment of Westfield Retail Trust (WRT).

Westfield Group CEOs, Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said the company has been active in its implementing strategic plan of redeploying capital into high return opportunities.

“We are focussed on investing in shopping centres with strong franchise characteristics that are resilient through economic cycles, and achieve high levels of sales productivity and profitability for our retailers,” they said.

The company recently announced its investment into the World Trade Centre in New York, the acquisition of a strategic development site in Milan and the entry into Brazil. As a result, this brings the company’s pipeline of future development work to approximately $11 billion and its total assets to $37.2 billion.

The most successful portfolio was in the UK which saw net property income up 36 per cent, reflecting the performance of Westfield London and the group’s increased interest in Westfield Derby.  This was being driven by strong sales that were up approximately 20 per cent.

This net property income result was largely differing to Australia/New Zealand which was only up by 8 per cent and the US by 1 per cent.

In Australia, comparable specialty retail sales for the six months were up 1.8 per cent and up 1.0 per cent in New Zealand. While in the US, comparable specialty retail sales for the six months to June 2011 were up 6.0 per cent, continuing the strong trend in sales last year.

During the half year, WDC also continued the expansion of its online internet strategy with the launch of the westfield.com.au transactional site, which is now leased to over 140 retailers.

“We are embracing digital technology, including the use of the internet, mobile and social media, with a major focus on driving sales into our shopping centres by providing continuous information about retailers, their products and offers to our consumers. With the launch of our transactional website in Australia, we are able to work with retailers in both their physical and online retail strategies,” Steven Lowy said.