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Westfield Stratford attracts nearly £900m retail sales

Westfield Stratford has seen more than 47m shoppers visit the centre in its first year, equating to £896m-worth of sales.

The figures, which were released as part of the Australian property group’s third quarter results, show that during the five-week period of the Olympics and Paralympics it attracted  more than eight million visitors.

Westfield continued to buck the trend of rising vacancy rates, reporting that more than 99.5% of its UK portfolio was leased as at September 30. The company’s global average was 97.7%, with the US portfolio representing the lowest overall figure – 93.7% - although this was 120 basis points up on the previous year.

Joint chief executives Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said performance had been “pleasing” and “in line with expectations”.

Steven Lowy added: “Our operating performance for the year to date has seen continuing high levels of occupancy, growth in average rents and comparable specialty sales growth in each market.

The level of bad debts and arrears across the Group for the year to date remain very low and in line with previous years.”

He continued: “In the United Kingdom the performance of Stratford City has been outstanding with the London 2012 Olympics demonstrating our capacity, expertise and brand to a world audience.”

Other notable events during the year included the completion of the expansion of its Brisbane and Melbourne centres and the beginning of new projects such as the redevelopment of Adelaide and a construction project in Sydney.

The forward sale of Westfield’s Bradford development was “in line with book value”, the company said.

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