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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's profits boosted by acquisition

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PARIS (Reuters) – Europe’s largest property firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield <URW.AS> reported a jump in first-half profit on Wednesday, boosted by a contribution from its recently acquired Westfield shopping centres.

In early June, Unibail-Rodamco finalised the acquisition of Australian shopping mall giant Westfield. The acquisition is an attempt to create a global leader in a sector that is grappling with the challenge of online shopping, led by Amazon.

The firm said recurring net result, a measure of profit, in the first half of the year rose 14.5 percent to 703 million euros (632.44 million pounds). Recurring earnings per share rose 7.3 percent to 6.61 euros.

“Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Continental European business is trading in line with Unibail-Rodamco’s assumptions for 2018,” the company said in a statement, adding it will provide new guidance with the full-year results in February 2019.

Since the acquisition, the new entity has sold 1.3 billion euros worth of assets, mainly in Spain. It said it is evaluating the sale of more assets in Germany and France.

The firm also said it generated 74 million euros in synergies, or benefits, from the acquisition, higher than the 60 million euros originally budgeted.

($1 = 0.8549 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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