Savills has released its preliminary results for 2018 revealing an increase in revenues for its UK residential operation of 2% to £131.5 million, created mainly by gaining market share off competitors in “challenging conditions”.
But profits within the overall UK business have come to a standstill compared to the first six months of 2018, when it reported an increase of 17%.
Its UK business has been spending hard, including the purchase of Broadgate Estates’ lettings portfolio from British Land, a property agency in Guernsey called Martel Maides, Currell in East London and Porta, a planning and development consultancy. It also invested £20 million in Yopa last year through its tech investment arm.
Savills says within its ‘second-hand’ residential property sales division exchanges increased by 1% last year including a 4% increase within the difficult prime central London market, and a 2% increase within its New Homes operation.
The agency also reveals that transactions for homes worth more than £15 million increased by 43% year-on-year, although this has to be taken with a pinch of salt given the tiny numbers involved.
Commenting on its overall global performance, recently-appointed CEO Mark Ridley (below) says: “We have made a solid start to 2019; however, the year ahead is overshadowed by macro-economic and political uncertainties across the world.
“It is difficult accurately to predict the impact of these issues on corporate expansionary activity and investor demand for real estate.
“At this stage, we expect to see declines in transaction volumes in a number of markets and growth in our less transactional business lines; accordingly we retain our expectations for the Group’s performance in 2019.”
At group level, Savills’ turnover increased by 10% to £1.76 billion and profits by 2% to £143.7 million.