DTZ warns it will post a loss

Marion Dakers
REAL estate consultant DTZ warned yesterday it is likely to miss its full-year profit forecasts and post a small loss for the year to April 2011.

The FTSE-listed company said sluggish investment levels in the EMEA region pose the biggest problem.

DTZ was expected to report a £10m pre-tax profit this year. The business posted a pre-tax profit of £3.6m last year and a loss of £35.1m in 2008 to 2009. Chief executive Paul Idsik said growth in the UK and continental Europe has been stunted by lethargic markets outside the capital cities.

“Trading in the UK is a story of two halves. We’re seeing good, improving fundamentals in London but activity in the regions is still quite depressed. That has hurt us a bit because we just have not seen the growth,” Idzik said.

He declined to comment on dividend prospects but said no new redundancies were being planned following the profit warning.

Analysts at Brewin Dolphin downgraded their profit forecasts for DTZ, but maintained a “buy” rating. “We believe there is significant upside when [DTZ’s] operational improvements and investments… coincide with more sustained recovery in European commercial property markets,” they said in a note.

DTZ shares closed down 5.5 per cent at 43.75p yesterday.