Savills this morning announced a rise in revenue but a drop in profits.
Its group revenue for last year was up 10% at £1.76bn, but pre-tax profits were down 3% at £109.4m.
In the UK, its residential business bucked competitors, with exchanges up 1%, helping to offset a 2% fall in average sales value. In prime central London, its exchanges were up 4%, although average values declined by 4%. Outside London, transactions and values remained flat last year. Overall, however, the UK residential business was 6% down in underlying profits.
Altogether, the UK residential business made revenues of £209.7m last year, with an underlying pre-tax profit of £27.2m. The figures compared with £204.3m and £28.2m respectively for 2017.
The global business also warned that while it had made a “solid” start to 2019, “the year ahead is overshadowed by macro-economic and political uncertainties across the world”.
It forecast declines in transaction volumes in a number of markets.
Savills is set to pay a final dividend for last year of 10.8p, alongside an interim dividend of 15.6p.
This morning’s results also show that Savills paid £3m for the purchase of Currell, an agency in east London, with a further £3.5m payable over the next three years.
The report says that last year, Savills made a “small additional investment” in online estate agency Yopa to support its growth, saying that it had already grown to become the sixth largest UK estate agent. Savills’ investment in Yopa is its largest to date “in the field of emerging technology”, says the report.
LSL in its annual results wrote down the value of its investment in Yopa by 61%.