Australia's Westfield 2012 flat, upgrades outlook

SYDNEY Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:53pm EST

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SYDNEY Feb 27 (Reuters) - Australian shopping mall owner Westfield Group, the world's second-largest listed retail trust, said its funds from operations (FFO) were flat in 2012 and said new developments would boost results in 2013.

Westfield posted A$1.47 billion ($1.50 billion) in full-year FFO, an industry measure of core operating profits, up 0.3 percent from a year earlier and in line with an average estimate of A$1.50 billion by five analysts.

Westfield said it expected 66.5 Australian cents per share of FFO for 2013, up from 65.0 Australian cents in 2012. In November, it had forecast its 2013 FFO at 65.0 cents per share.

The company has been shuffling its portfolio to free up capital and seek higher returns.

For 2013, Westfield said new developments worth between A$1.25 billion to A$1.5 billion in total were expected to start in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Of the total, the company's share would be $300 million to A$500 million.

Westfield operates 105 shopping malls in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Britain and Brazil, which generate over A$40 billion in annual retail sales.

($1 = 0.9793 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by John Mair)

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