First-half sales at Swire Properties' three shopping malls increased 15 per cent to 45 per cent from a year earlier, according to director and general manager Jolyon Culbertson. The property developer owns retail arcades at Pacific Place in Admiralty, Cityplaza in Taikoo Shing, Quarry Bay, and Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong. It also manages Citygate mall in Tung Chung, which is partially held by Swire. Mr Culbertson said retail sales at Pacific Place had increased 10 per cent to 15 per cent for the first half, while Cityplaza sales in April were 45 per cent higher than the same month last year. Cityplaza underwent a HK$500 million renovation last year. Festival Walk recorded 30 per cent growth in the six months to June, he said. Swire charges its retail tenants rental and gets a share of turnover. Mr Culbertson said that contrary to the popular perception, retail sales were increasingly buoyant. Senior property manager Christopher Heywood said phase one of Citygate, which opened in April, was 75 per cent leased with a 13,680 square metre ParknShop as its anchor tenant. Phase two, set to open in October, is 40 per cent leased. Phase three, which is 30 per cent leased, would open next year, he said. Director and general manager Stephan Spurr, who is responsible for Swire's Island East portfolio, said the developer had posted a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in rents. Mr Spurr said the increase applied in the first half for offices in Island East and expected a further 35 per cent increase in the second half. He said Swire would announce a retail e-business venture later this year.