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Federation Centres posts $116m profit

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AAP

2013-02-22

Shopping mall group Federation Centres is back in the black, six months after settling a major class action, and expects a supermarket price war to underpin growth.

Federation Centres on Friday posted a net profit of $115.9 million for the six months to December 31. The result compares with its $100.1 million loss in the previous corresponding period in 2011.

The company changed its name from Centro Retail Australia in January, following a complete restructure in December 2011.

Chief executive Steven Sewell said price competition between supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles had helped the earnings of the newly-formed Federation Centres, which has three-quarters of its business in supermarkets.

"The supermarkets' market share battle, and also price competition that's occurring, is all positive to consumer sentiment to actually free up the consumers' dollar," he told AAP.

"In the areas of the retail hierarchy that we operate, particularly food, non-discretionary retail, in fact retail spending is holding up at historic levels."

Revenue had risen five-fold to $258.8 million, from $48.2 million, the company said.

Federation Centre said its property portfolio would benefit from strong exposure to non-discretionary spending, although its department stores remained subdued.

Rental renewals grew 3.5 per cent as occupancy levels were maintained at almost full capacity.

Federation Centres forecast full year earnings of 15.5 cents to 15.75 cents per security.

Mr Sewell said the company maintained its guidance of three per cent income growth for the full year.

The balance sheet for the first half of 2012/13 did not include funds used for its part payment of a $200 million class action settlement in June 2012.

The Federal Court approved the settlement in the case brought by Centro shareholders claiming the company engaged in deceptive conduct relating to its disclosure of debts in 2007.