Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) has announced its result for the 2018 financial year.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is a giant real estate business that owns a global portfolio of retail centres, offices and convention & exhibition centres across Europe and North America. It is listed on Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Paris and the ASX in the form of CHESS Depositary Interest (CDIs). The group receives approximately 1.2 billion visits a year. Just over a third of its underlying sales value is done in France with a quarter in the US, the rest is in European countries.

Here’s What Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Reported

This is the first result of the combined group since merging with Westfield. The real estate giant reported a net operating result for the company of €99.7 million and a net profit result of €187.9 million. This translates to a net earnings per share of €1.20.

Net operating income (NOI) grew by 3.1% mainly due to the delivery of Westfield Century City and Westfield UTC. However, comparable NOI declined by 1.6%.

According to Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in the US specialty sales productivity per square foot (PSF) increased by 10.9% (and 12% for flagship stores), with luxury store sales PSF rising by 15.2%. Average letting spreads ( rental leases) were up 7.5% and the average rent paid by stores under 10,000 square feet was up 3.9%.

At 31 December 2018 the occupancy stood at 95.6%, with 96.2% in flagship stores, which was stable compared to December 2017 but a rise of 130 basis points (1.3%) from June 2018.

How the business is combating online sales growth

The business has signed or opened virtual reality spaces, such as Dreamscape at Westfield Century City and The Void at Westfield San Francisco Centre.

It has also been opening high-quality restaurants such as a Din Tai Fung restaurant at Westfield Century City.

The business currently has a €1.4 billion pipeline of developments to complete, which should boost earnings.

Is it a buy for the dividend?

For the 2018 financial year, the group has proposed a cash dividend of €10.80 per share. Which appears to be forward annual yield of around 7% per CDI. This seems quite attractive in this era of low interest rates. However, I’m not sure how much growth there will be for the underlying earnings, so it might be better to go for the growth shares in the free report below, unless you are only looking for income.


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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).