Westfield on target but silent over European plans

AUSTRALIAN mall operator Westfield Group reconfirmed its earnings forecasts yesterday despite the impact of a lower US dollar, but kept tight-lipped about reports of plans to expand in Europe.

Westfield has already ventured into the UK with the opening of Westfield London in 2008 and Westfield Stratford City, which is expected to open later this year.

Westfield is also reportedly in talks with Italian developer Gruppo Percassi to develop a shopping centre to the east of Milan. Frank Lowy, who stepped down as executive chairman yesterday, said he could not confirm any plans or the potential timing of an expansion. The firm kept its earnings forecast to pay out 48.4 cents a share a share in 2011, with operational earnings seen at 74.6 cents.