Shopping centre developer Westfield Group's annual profit has grown by 18 per cent as income from its centres across the world increased.
The group, which manages 105 shopping centres in five countries, made a $1.72 billion profit in the year to December 31, up from $1.532 billion in 2011.
Joint chief executives Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said 2012 was a year in which the company made several changes to its property portfolio as it aims to improve its returns to shareholders.
"The performance for the year has been very good and in line with expectations," they said in a statement.
Westfield Retail Trust, which only holds interests in Westfield's Australian and New Zealand shopping centres, made a net profit of $830.8 million in the year to December, down 2.2 per cent from 2011.
The Trust's managing director Domenic Panaccio said the result showed the quality of the Trust's properties in a challenging operating environment.
Westfield Group said its operating income grew by 3.3 per cent in the 12 months to December, with growth strongest in the United States, followed by Australia and New Zealand, and then the United Kingdom.
"Our operating performance for the year saw continuing high levels of occupancy, growth in average rents and comparable specialty sales growth in each market," the Lowys said.
"In Australia, whilst retail conditions have been subdued for most of the year the business has performed well.
"Westfield continues to receive demand for space from both local and international retailers, they said.
Westfield completed its $1.2 billion Sydney development during 2012, and in 2013 expects to start between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion in new developments.
That will include work at Miranda in Sydney, Mt Gravatt in Brisbane and Bradford in the UK.
Westfield Group will pay 49.5 cents in distributions per security for 2012, and expects that to rise to 51 cents in 2013.
Westfield Retail Trust will pay 18.75 cents per stapled security for 2012, and expects that to rise to 19.85 cents in 2013.