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By Costas Pitas
LONDON, March 22 International estate agent
Savills reported a 12 percent rise in annual profit as
revenue at its British property business grew despite a slump in
demand for new homes and office space in London after the Brexit
Underlying profit for 2016 rose to 135.8 million pounds
($170 million), ahead of expectations in a Thomson Reuters poll
of analysts, helped by overall revenue rising 3 percent in
Britain, Savills' largest market.
"We benefited from the scale of our operations across the
globe, which have grown substantially over recent years, as well
as a highly resilient performance in the UK," Chief Executive
Jeremy Helsby said.
Residential sales rose by an annual 7 percent outside of
London whilst demand in the capital fell 5 percent, less than
some indicators which have showed larger slumps in the number of
transactions as increased property tax has put off some buyers.
However, demand for office space in the City of London, home
to the financial district which has been increasingly concerned
about the implications of Brexit, fell 21 percent as occupiers
chose to extend existing leases rather than take out new ones.
"(This was) pretty strongly Brexit-related because
corporates only make big expansion decisions when they've got a
degree of certainty about the landscape into which they are
making those decisions," Chief Finance Officer Simon Shaw told
Shares in Savills slipped 0.9 percent to 877p by 0820 GMT.
($1 = 0.8006 pounds)
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by David Clarke/Keith Weir)