While some retailers are reporting a drop in profits, Westfield has achieved an 18.3 per cent increase of up to $1.72 billion on the prior year.

Meanwhile, earnings before interest and tax was $2.12 billion, up 3 per cent on the prior year. Net property income was $2.02 billion, in line with the previous year and up 7 per cent adjusted for divestments.

Westfield Group Co-CEOs, Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said: “This has been a significant year for the Group as we continued to position WDC to generate greater shareholder value.

“The performance for the year has been very good and in line with expectations.”

For the 12 months, comparable property net operating income for the Group was up 3.3 per cent on the prior year with the United States up 4.2 per cent, Australia/New Zealand up 2.9 per cent and United Kingdom up 0.4 per cent.

The global portfolio at 31 December 2012 was 97.8 per cent leased, up 30 basis points on the prior year. In the United States the portfolio was 94.4% leased, up 130 basis points, the United Kingdom up 50 basis points to 99.5 per cent, Brazil at 93.3 per cent and the Australian/New Zealand portfolio remaining over 99.5 per cent leased.

WDC’s global portfolio achieved specialty sales productivity of US$701 per square foot, for the 12 months to 31 December 2012, up 3.0 per cent on the prior year. Comparable specialty retail sales were up 6.3 per cent in the United States, up 0.5 per cent in Australia, up 0.1 per cent in New Zealand and up 12.8 per cent in Brazil for the 12 month period.

“In Australia, whilst retail conditions have been subdued for most of the year the business has performed well. Sales productivity of specialty stores remains high at $9,887 per square metre and we continue to see demand for space from both domestic and international retailers,” Steven Lowy said.

For 2013, the group expects to commence between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion of new developments. Developments are anticipated to commence at
Miranda in Sydney, Mt Gravatt in Brisbane and at Bradford in the United Kingdom, with works having commenced on the US$150m redevelopment at Garden State Plaza in New Jersey and the US$90m redevelopment at Montgomery in Maryland.