Sherry FitzGerald has quit London market
ESTATE agent Sherry FitzGerald has pulled out of the London market with the sale of its stake in a UK property agent. The sale of its interest in Marsh & Parsons to LSL Property Services was first mooted at the start of the month. The deal formally closed on Thursday.
The completion of the sale is revealed in the group's 2010 accounts, which show a return to pre-tax profit for the first time since 2006, on the back of an earlier restructuring of the business and a stronger UK performance.
According to accounts just filed with the Companies Office for Sherry FitzGerald Holdings Limited, the group recorded a profit before tax of €2.52m during 2010. That compared with a loss of €5m a year earlier and was the first time the business turned a pre-tax profit since 2006, when the group had pre-tax earnings of €11.7m. Turnover was up 22pc on 2009 at €43.2m.
The directors' report accompanying the accounts described 2010 as "another demanding year for the Irish element of the Sherry FitzGerald Group as property markets continued to be negatively impacted by the economic challenges facing the country".
Nevertheless, the directors said the Irish residential and commercial businesses performed "very credibly" in overall terms, especially after banking and sovereign debt issues dominated the national agenda in the second half of the year.
The directors believe that "the Irish business is very well positioned to benefit from any modest recovery in the Irish economy".
Group chairman Mark FitzGerald said: "The environment in Ireland . . . is still very difficult and we can make no assumptions.
"While we believe that there will be a range of opportunities, there are also many challenges, for the market generally and for a business like ours."
He added: "We will continue to work from that base and remain optimistic, even if there is still much hard work to be done."