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Savills reports improved first half profits

Savills has reported a £14.4m pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2010, up from the £0.1m pre-tax profit registered for the first half of last year.

Group revenue increased 23 per cent to £304.4m in the first six months of the year from £247.6m in 2009.

Underlying group profit before tax grew to £17.2m from £2.5m in the first half of 2009.

At June 30, 2010, Savills says its balance sheet remained sound with net cash of £20.1m, whereas at June 30, 2009 there was a net debt of £0.4m. Savills also has a £60m credit facility of which £43m was unused.

Savills group chief executive Jeremy Helsby says: “We have had a strong first half particularly through the recovery of transaction markets in the UK and Asia Pacific, which are core to the Group’s success. At the same time we have substantially reduced losses in the Continental European business and are seeing some improvement in the US market.

 “Looking to the second half, factors such as the Chinese Government’s desire to contain overheating in the residential market, continued concerns over economic growth in many countries and prolonged low levels of debt availability indicate that the recovery is likely to flatten off during the coming months. Since Q4 2009 we have consistently maintained a cautious outlook for the second half of 2010, and with such uncertainties remaining we currently have no reason to change that view.

“Over the last two years we have successfully restructured and re-positioned Savills businesses to address the market conditions that they face, and we are now well placed to take advantage of business opportunities as they arise.”

Earlier this month, Savills’ packaging arm, Savills Lending Solutions, entered a consultation period with its eight employees due to continued difficult trading conditions.

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