Savills cautious on 12 month outlook

GLOBAL property adviser Savills maintained a cautious second-half outlook and raised the spectre of a flat performance in the first six months of 2011 after posting much-improved interim results yesterday.

Savills booked group revenue of £304.4m for the first half, up 23 per cent from the same period a year ago. Group underlying profit advanced to £17.2m from £2.5m.

Likewise, Savills transaction advice business saw revenues rise 57 per cent to £116.6m, helping it swing to an underlying profit before tax of £9.4m from a loss of £7.6m a year earlier.

Its property and facilities management saw revenue rise eight per cent to £113.7m, although underlying profit before tax fell one per cent to £7.1m.

Asked if Savills expected the first half of 2011 to be broadly flat against the same period in 2010, chief financial officer Simon Shaw said: “I think that’s probably as fair a position as you can take.”

“The concerns we are looking at ahead are really coming in this fourth quarter,” he said.
Savills said it would pay an unchanged interim dividend of 3p per share.