Soft market conditions hurt GPT Group

Softening market conditions were to blame for the 6.7% profit drop for property group GPT (ASX: GPT), whereby $257 million was recognised for the six months ending 30 June, as compared to $275.5 million in the prior corresponding period.

Michael Cameron, the company’s CEO and Managing Director said “whilst GPT remains cautiously optimistic about the second half of 2013, it is clear that market fundamentals have softened in the past 6 months.”

Despite the fall, Cameron stated that it was a solid result following an active period in which $690 million worth of transactions were executed and two major developments were completed. These projects included a $780 million tower in Sydney – which the company holds a 50% stake in – and the expansion of the Highpoint Shopping Centre for $300 million. According to the market release, the foot traffic through Highpoint has increased a pleasing 30% since the centre’s opening.

Meanwhile, the group has also increased its dividend payout to 10.1c per share for the half, compared to the 9.1c per share paid to shareholders a year earlier.

Foolish takeaway

In order to continue maximizing total returns for the business, the company will continue to actively manage its investment portfolio – much like its competitor Westfield Group (ASX: WDC). The market will now await Westfield’s half year results which will be released on August 29.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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