Savills' international business benefited from the weak pound as UK figures performed better than expected

Courtney Goldsmith
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The weak pound has helped business abroad (Source: Getty)

The devaluation of sterling against other major currencies boosted Savills profits in 2016 as international commercial and residential sales surpassed expectations.

The property firm said underlying results for the year would be "meaningfully" ahead of previous expectations in a pre-close trading update for the year ended 31 December 2016.

In the UK, overseas buyers have come to take advantage of the weak pound after the referendum, and this helped mitigate expected losses. International buyers boosted commercial transactions and the top end of the residential market.

As a whole, Savills' residential business performed better than anticipated barring a slower December.

Shares in the company shot up more than seven per cent in the early hours of trading.

Read more: Savills' share price edges up on dividend hike and strong revenue growth

A number of significant disposal transactions completed earlier than expected by Savills Investment Management also impacted profits. However, it has lessened the company's expectations for the business's transactions in 2017.

Read more: Savills investment management launches €300m fund

Transactions in Asia and continental Europe performed ahead of expectations and offset flat performance in the US.

In the upcoming year, Savills will retain its original targets as it expects transactions to slow in many markets due to uncertainty over global economic prospects, geopolitical risks and rising bond yields.

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