Report: Westfield to Cut Up to 10% of Workforce

Industries Reuters

Australian mall operator Westfield Group will cut up to 10% of its workforce, affecting up to 400 employees, the Australian newspaper reported on Monday, citing unnamed industry sources.

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Westfield, the world's second-largest listed retail trust by market value, had already begun cutting staff at its Sydney-based finance team, the report said.

The job cuts would affect all areas of the business, but heavier losses were likely in back-office roles, such as the finance department and finance and asset management divisions.

A Westfield spokeswoman declined to comment directly on the reported job losses.

"Westfield continuously seeks ways to operate its business more efficiently through systems, technology and organizational structures," the company said in an emailed statement.

"Decisions about staff numbers and structures are consistent with this approach and reflect the group's ongoing focus on cost control. Just one example of this has been the Westfield Group's decision to freeze senior executive salaries for three of the past four years."

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The potential job losses come just days after the mall operator reported an improved first-half result, on the back of solid performances in Australia and the United States, and also maintained its full-year outlook.

Last week, Westfield posted A$751.2 million in FFO (funds from operations) for the six months to June, beating market forecasts of A$734 million and the A$733 million reported for the same period a year ago.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by John Mair and Richard Pullin)