Savills in the UK transactional business had £45.7 million of revenue from residential sales, down from £47.9 million in H1 2011. This business is very profitable for Savills and the loss of revenue hit pre-tax profits by 26% to £6.8 million.
Commercial leasing markets generally remain sensitive to the uncertain climate for occupiers with the City vacancy rate climbing to 9% in the face of subdued demand, but limited new supply. Take-up was up 30% compared with H1 2011, but still below the long term average. By contrast, the West End remained robust with the vacancy rate unchanged at 4%.
Jeremy Helsby, Group Chief Executive of Savills plc, said:
"I am pleased to report a better first half performance than we anticipated as a result of the continued growth of our Consultancy and Property Management businesses around the world, which now represent more than 60% of our income and profits, and the strength of our businesses in key transactional markets in the UK and Asia Pacific."
Shares in Savills closed last night at 374.6p valuing the firm at £497 million.