Savills highlights risks to UK property market as half-year profits fall

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Savills reported group revenue topped £1bn after an 11% year-on-year increase, although pre-tax profit was significantly lower at £50.4m, compared to £63.3m last time out.

Revenue climbed to £1.04 billion in the six months to June 30, 2022 from £932.6 million in the corresponding period a year earlier as transaction advisory revenue increased by 14%.

Underlying pre-tax profit fell to £59.2m from £66.1m, in line with company projections, as personnel costs and discretionary spending increased.

Commenting on the results, Mark Ridley, Chief Executive of Savills Group, said: “2022 presented a number of macroeconomic, geopolitical and in some places ongoing Covid-related risks for investors, businesses and for many people. Lives. I am delighted with the responses of our employees and our customers doing business in difficult circumstances and in particular regarding their support for Ukraine.

“Despite the inflation in personnel costs and the anticipated increase in discretionary costs, we have performed well so far this year, in line with the expectations of the Board of Directors. With our strong balance sheet, we continue to undertake various business development activities across the group to improve our service to customers around the world.

Commercial transaction revenue increased 26% with growth across all regions during the period, but residential transaction advisory revenue fell 11%.

Savills said UK residential markets did well, but activity levels fell as expected.

Net cash was £149m at June 30, compared to £106.7m the previous year. Consequently, Savills has decided to increase the interim dividend from 6p to 6.6p per share.

Ridley said global property markets were beginning to adjust to rising interest rates driven by inflation.

He continued, “With inflation driving up interest rates globally, a new experience for many market participants, real estate markets began to adjust in the second quarter. process will continue throughout the second half of the year.However, investors are still very interested in the secure income characteristics of real estate and occupiers are gradually focusing on improving the sustainability characteristics of their portfolios as well as than on creating environments in which staff can thrive.

“At this stage, it is too early to accurately predict the potential impact of the political and economic environment on real estate transaction volumes globally, although it is clear that the risk is towards a reduction to short term of business as markets adjust to, among other things, the rising cost of debt Notwithstanding this risk, given our performance to date and having previously taken a cautious view of likely transactional performance in 2022 , at this stage, the board’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

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