The Westfield Group has announced its global operations for the first quarter of 2013 are in line with expectations.

The global portfolio at 31 March was 97.4 per cent leased, up 20 basis points compared to the same period last year. In the US the portfolio was 93.1 per cent leased, up 150 basis points on the prior year with the Australian/New Zealand and UK portfolios at 99.5 per cent and 99 per cent leased respectively.

In Australia comparable specialty sales for the quarter grew by 0.3 per cent. Retail sales in the quarter were negatively impacted by the timing of Easter as well as 2012 being a leap year.

Westfield also said whilst retail conditions remain subdued the productivity of the portfolio remains high at $9,863 per square metre, with continuing demand for space from both domestic and international retailers.

Average specialty rent for the Australian/New Zealand portfolio grew by 2.4 per cent from March 2012 with average rent in Australia now at $1,522 sqm and New Zealand at NZ$1,127 sqm. In Australia for the 3 months over 380 leasing deals were completed.

According to the company, work continues to progress well on the $2 billion of projects now under construction. It has identified $12 billion worth of future development work is in the pipeline.

For 2013, the group expects to commence between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion of new developments. To date $700 million of projects have commenced with the redevelopment at Miranda, Sydney expected to start soon, as well as the $400 million redevelopment of Mt Gravatt in Brisbane.