Savills shuns slowdown in the UK housing market to boost profits

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Savills said it will increase its interim dividend by six per cent to 4.65p a share (Source: Getty)

Strong growth in Asia drove up estate agency Savills' pre-tax profits in the six months to June, offsetting a decline in the UK housing market.

The FTSE 250 firm's group revenue was up 15 per cent to £714.4m compared to £622.7m during the same period last year.

Group profit before tax rose 27 per cent to £32.4m from £25.5m in the first half of 2016.

Savills said it will increase its interim dividend by six per cent to 4.65p a share.

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Jeremy Helsby, group chief executive of Savills, said: "In an environment of ongoing political and economic uncertainty, we continue to anticipate that our performance for the full year will be in line with the board's expectations."

The property firm also revealed that its transaction advisory revenue was up 15 per cent due to strong performances in Asia, Europe and the UK commercial market. This growth offset a slight decline in UK residential revenue.

Its property management revenue was up 13 per cent while its consultancy revenue rose 15 per cent.

"Savills has delivered a great first half performance across the group driven, in particular, by strong growth in Asia and a resilient performance in the UK," Helsby added.

"In line with our overall growth strategy, we have continued to build on the Savills Studley platform in the US, particularly our capital markets business, with recruitment and incremental acquisition activity across the country. In addition, we have continued to invest in our Asian platform and, since the period end, in Europe we have announced the acquisitions of Larry Smith and Aguirre Newman, further strengthening our positions in Italy and Spain respectively."

At the time of writing, Savills' shares were up 1.37 per cent at 912p.

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