Despite the decline in profits, Savills said its resilient performance reflects geographic diversity and the strength of less transactional service lines
Savills has reported a 9% drop in group revenue, falling to £1.74bn, as property deals fell during the pandemic.
The firm said resilient revenues from less transactional services significantly mitigated a drop in transaction volumes.
Savills’ underlying profit before tax dropped to £96.6m from £143.4m in 2019, while its statutory profit before tax reached £83.2m compared to £115.6m 12 months earlier.
The company has declared a final ordinary dividend of 17.0p reflecting the resilience of the less transactional business performance.
Despite the decline in profits, Savills said its “resilient performance” reflects geographic diversity (59% non-UK revenue) and the strength of less transactional service lines (62% of group revenue, versus 57% in 2019).
Savills UK Residential grew revenues by 10% as the market recovered strongly from the middle of the year.
Savills Investment Management outperformed expectations (against a record 2019 comparative boosted by strong performance fees) with revenue down 11% and increased Assets Under Management (‘AUM’) to £19.0bn (2019: £17.7bn.
Savills also highlighted a continued investment in people, technology leadership and innovation in sustainability.
Mark Ridley, chief executive officer at Savills, said: Savills delivered a robust performance in 2020 reflecting the strength and resilience of our global, diversified business. We continued to grow our less transactional service lines and increase our market share, outperforming in many of our transactional markets despite the challenging conditions.
Much of this outperformance is due to our strategy of retaining the strength of our teams and focussing resolutely on addressing both the pandemic-related, and longer term, needs of our clients, he said.
We remain confident in the long-term attraction of real estate as an asset class and although macro-economic uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 clearly remains, we see enhanced investor demand for income and improvements in leasing activity as occupiers increasingly seek to address their requirements, Ridley said.
He said, Savills has a strong balance sheet and we remain focused on growing our less transactional businesses, increasing our share of the global transactional markets and enhancing the resilience of the business overall. We have made a good start to 2021 and see opportunities for business development emerging during the course of the year.
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