Savills had its annual shareholder get-together yesterday (9th May) lunchtime.
All the usual business was passed and Directors duly re-elected, along with some special measures to allow more freedom for the board to do share deals.
Overall, there weren’t any surprises, with the company reporting trading “in line with expectations” over the last year or so – but resi is expected to take a hit in the next few months. Savills’ top brass warned that “The period leading up to the UK General Election is expected to have a short term adverse impact on residential transaction activity over the next few weeks”.
Here’s the firm’s full AGM statement:
During the year to date Savills has traded in line with our expectations and ahead of the corresponding period in 2016, both as reported and on a constant currency basis.
In the UK commercial markets, Savills has maintained a significant share of the Prime Central London investment and leasing markets, although market uncertainty continues to affect transactional volumes. Outside London, our transactional volumes and Professional and Development services have grown over the comparable period in 2016.
As expected, volumes in the UK Prime Residential market have been lower in the year to date compared with the very strong comparable period in advance of April 2016’s increase in Stamp Duty. Our UK Rural business has performed better than anticipated. The period leading up to the UK General Election is expected to have a short term adverse impact on residential transaction activity over the next few weeks.
Savills Asia Pacific business has had a very strong start to the year. We have seen substantial underlying revenue and profit growth in the year to date, with Hong Kong, Australia and Japan all ahead of our expectations; in addition, our reported results continue to benefit from the effect of Sterling weakness.
In the US, Savills Studley has had a slower start to the year than initially anticipated with some occupier transaction deferrals. However, the pipeline of activity for the remainder of the year remains good. In addition we have continued to expand our footprint with acquisitions and significant recruitment in Southern California, Denver, Colorado and a Capital Markets team in New York.
In Continental Europe, to date we have traded in line with our expectations, with France, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy experiencing a particularly strong start to the year.
Globally, our Consultancy and Property Management businesses have delivered continued revenue growth with particular strengths in the UK and Asia.
Following a strong year in 2016, Savills Investment Management has grown revenue and profits as anticipated for the period to date as we near the end of the disposal of assets within the liquidating German Open Ended Funds under the SEB brand.
While we have started the year well, typically the first four months represent a disproportionately small element of the expected outturn for the full year. Against a political and economic backdrop which demonstrates greater levels of uncertainty than a few months ago, we continue to anticipate that our performance will remain in line with our expectations.