Shopping centre group Charter Hall Retail REIT has swung back into the black with a first half net profit of $15.8 million.

The group's result for the six months to December 31 was in stark contrast to the $15.7 million loss recorded in the previous corresponding period.

Net property income rose to $56.3 million. from $52.6 million.

The earnings rise followed a string of acquisitions by the group, which has shopping centres across Australia.

It has been selling centres in the United States, New Zealand and Poland so it can focus on the Australian market.

The REIT's fund manager Scott Dundas said construction was underway on $97 million of redevelopment projects across the group's $133 million pipeline.

Another 165 leasing transactions were being finalised to maintain the Australian portfolio occupancy rate at 98.5 per cent.

Mr Dundas said the group remained on the hunt for acquisitions and was expected to lift its full year operating earnings.

"Barring unforeseen events, forecast FY13 operating earnings are expected to be in the range of 29.5 to 30.0 cents per unit, with distributions expected to reflect a payout ratio of between 85 per cent and 95 per cent of operating earnings," he said.

Charter Hall's operating earnings for the 2011/12 financial year were $86.3 million, or 28.81 cents per unit.

Charter Hall maintained its interim distribution at 13.3 cents per security.


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