March 12, 2020 / 8:07 AM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Savills profit rises 5.7% on growth in property management business

(Adds details from statement on virus, background)

March 12 (Reuters) - Real estate adviser Savills Plc reported a 5.7% rise in full-year profit, helped by strong growth in its property management and consultation businesses.

Economic uncertainties across its key UK and Hong Kong markets had weighed on Savills’ results for most of the year, but a resounding election victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December led to a rise in demand, helping the company’s financials.

Savills, which works across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, said it was difficult to accurately predict the impact of the virus on its business for 2020 but added that real estate transactions could be weighted towards the second half of the year.

The virus, which originated in China, has wreaked havoc on markets, while disrupting businesses globally.

“In Asia, particularly China, it is clear that COVID-19 is having a significant impact on transactional activity and may have a similar effect elsewhere, depending to an extent on the length and severity of each outbreak,” the company said in the statement.

The company reported profit before tax of 115.6 million pounds ($147.98 million) for 2019.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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