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Saturday 18 August 2018

Savills upgrades forecast after strong end to 2017 as chief executive bows out

The group said that its performance around the world outstripped forecasts late last year.

Savills (PA)
Savills (PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Estate agent Savills has upgraded its full-year expectations after enjoying a stronger-than-anticipated finish to 2017, and announced that its chief executive will retire.

The group said its performance around the world outstripped forecasts late last year, and saw “substantial commercial transaction volumes” in both the UK and a number of Asian and European markets.

In addition, it pointed to the resilience of Savills residential transaction business in the UK, which has been dogged by Brexit uncertainty and a slowing economy.

As a result, the group is pencilling in annual results ahead of previous expectations.

Savills’ investment arm transacted on assets of more than 5.5 billion euros during 2017, while in the UK the estate agent increased its market share in commercial transactions.

This, the company said, was down to “relatively robust” occupier demand and continued strong investment interest from the Asian investors.

The pound’s collapse since the Brexit vote means that London properties have become cheaper for foreign investors, keeping demand healthy despite an anaemic economy and intense political uncertainty.

Savills added that its Asia Pacific and Continental European transactional businesses performed “ahead of our expectations”, with particularly strong results from Hong Kong, China, Australia, Japan, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands.

Improvements in these countries and in the UK more than offset a decline in the US business.

Shares were flat in morning trading at 972p.

Separately, Savills announced that Jeremy Helsby will retire as chief executive at the end of 2018 after a 39-year career at Savills, 11 of them in the top job.

He will be succeeded by Mark Ridley, currently boss at of Savills UK and Europe.

Press Association

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