Trade war, Brexit hit Savills half-year profit

FILE PHOTO: A worker puts up at Savills estate agents sign in London, Britain, April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

(Reuters) - Real estate services provider Savills Plc SVS.L posted lower pretax profit for the first half, as uncertainty due to the U.S.-China trade dispute and Brexit led to fewer commercial transactions in Asia and Britain, respectively.

Savills had warned earlier this year that Brexit-fuelled uncertainty would hit transaction volumes and its latest half-year report showed a 6% drop in underlying profit from Britain, with the volume of transactions in the residential market at their lowest since the 2008 financial crisis.

The company also said a volley of trade tariffs between Washington and Beijing had hit investment confidence in Asia-Pacific, where profits fell 17%.

“In many markets, particularly the UK and Hong Kong, political and economic uncertainty has considerably reduced the volume of real estate trading activity in recent months,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Ridley said.

Overall, profit before tax fell to 24.7 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, compared with 26.7 million pounds a year earlier, though the company affirmed its full-year view.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich/Keith Weir