Savills this morning announced revenue up 2% in the first six months of this year – but pre-tax profit slumped 18%, down to £26.7m, compared with £32.4m for the same period a year ago.
Residential sales in the UK fell in number but brought in a 6% increase in revenue because of higher values.
Savills said that while its UK residential transaction business grew both revenue and profit during the six months to the end of June, its overall transactions were hit by a slowdown in the UK commercial market.
Savills described its UK residential sales business as “resilient”.
In the UK, overall first-half revenues were £280.5m, up 2% from last year’s first-half of £274.2m.
Overall transactions business in the UK brought in revenue of £92.1m, just 2% down from the same period last year. Residential sales in the UK brought in £58.2m, up 6%. While there had been a drop in the number of exchanges, this was offset by a growth in average sales value.
In London, sales were down 7% and outside London, by 10%. However the average value of a London home sold by Savills was £3.2m, compared with £2.7m the year before, and outside London was £1.2m, up from £1.1m.
Savills reported strong growth in continental Europe and continued expansion in the middle east.
Chief executive Jeremy Helsby said: “In the face of some challenging market conditions, Savills has delivered a resilient first half performance reflecting our geographic diversity, breadth of operations, recent business investment activity and the strength of our UK residential business.”
He added: “Continued growth in our less transactional businesses, significant overseas earnings and strong shares in many of our most important transactional markets position Savills well to weather fluctuations in markets and to capitalise on the opportunities which we expect to emerge over time.
“We have a robust pipeline of activity for the second half, despite an environment of escalating political and economic uncertainty, and we continue to anticipate that our performance for the full year will be in line with the board’s expectations.”
Savills’ results are in marked contrast to those of woebegone Countrywide and Foxtons. However, the business is not really comparable, being highly diversified and with activities around the world.
Yesterday Savills shares finished at about 866p, down from a five-year record high of 1,034p in January.