Games gives Westfield a boost

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The Independent Online

Westfield, the Australian property developer, said that 5.5 million people visited its shopping centre next to the Olympic park in east London during the Games.

The shopping centres operator opened Westfield Stratford City in September 2011 and many visitors had to walk through the huge mall to get into the park's venues, including the athletics stadium, velodrome, and aquatic centre.

Central London was hit by a dearth of footfall in the early part of the Games after warnings about transport congestion. But Westfield said "5.5 million visits" were made to its Stratford site in just over two weeks.

Steve Lowry, the co-chief executive of Westfield, said the Games gave it "an unprecedented exposure to a global audience".

The group grew its net profits by 31 per cent to A$800m (£536m) over the six months to 30 June.