LONDON, March 14 British property consultancy
Savills said pretax profits rose 21 percent in 2012,
beating analyst expectations, helped by strong deal activity in
Asia as well as buyer demand for plush offices and homes in
Savills, which competes globally with CBRE Group and
Jones Lang LaSalle, said on Thursday gross underlying
profit before tax for the year to the end-Dec rose to 60.8
million pounds ($90.7 million) from 50.4 million in 2011.
Group revenue increased 12 percent to 806.4 million pounds.
Analysts expected Savills to post pre-tax profits of 57.5
million pounds and 774.4 million pounds in revenue, Thomson
Reuters data showed.
The growth was led by Asia Pacific, where government efforts
to cool housing markets in areas such as Hong Kong drove buyers
towards commercial property.
Savills also said it had benefited from strong appetite for
office property in London, which has been a target in recent
years for investors seeking safe havens from global economic
turmoil. Profits in the UK grew 11 percent.
In continental Europe where it posted losses, the company
said concerns over the potential break-up of the euro zone and
the weak economy depressed capital markets, leading to a weaker
performance in Sweden, Italy and Germany.
"We have made a strong start to 2013, particularly in the UK
and Asia, and we expect to make further progress across the
group in the year ahead," said Savills' chairman Peter Smith.
"We anticipate delivering continued improvements in our
businesses in continental Europe and the U.S. although we are
mindful of the risk of further weakness in some of these
markets," he said.
Savills raised its dividend for the full year by 19 percent
to 16 pence per share.