East Anglia: Annual profits at Savills rise 35% as market activity picks up
13:50 20 March 2014
International property advisers firm Savills today reported a 35% increase in annual profits.
The group, whose presence in the UK includes offices in Ipswich, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich, saw revenues for the year to December 31 grow by 12% to £904.8m, from £806.4m in 2012.
Pre-tax profit advanced to £70.1m, against a restated £52.0m the previous year, with underlying growth of 28% on a consistent reporting basis.
Mark Oliver, director at Savills’ Ipswich office, said: “Our multi-discipline office continues to draw on wide-ranging expertise to offer sound advice to our clients.
“By the end of last year the residential market had rallied with enthusiasm and we are optimistic about prospects for 2014 as the economy continues to recover and London buyers return to Suffolk, attracted by the lifestyle and value for money.
“In the new homes sector the shortage of stock really began to show in the last quarter of 2013 when scarcity pushed prices upwards. More new developments are needed in Suffolk and Essex to satisfy demand.
“For farmers and landowners, land supply is still limited which may well give rise to further increases in value. The profitability of arable farming continues to be affected by the volatility of commodity prices but overall the picture remains positive.
“Meanwhile farm diversification and sales opportunities will be assisted by the anticipated changes to permitted development rights and redundant farm buildings.”
Mr Oliver added: “Commercial property activity has markedly improved in Suffolk over recent months which has led to such diverse results as the sale of the former Ipswich Odeon, the freehold disposal of Lothingland Middle School, a 20,000 sq ft warehouse at Farthing Road, and two acres of open storage land near Woodbridge.
“Companies are increasingly dusting down their old expansion plans and showing an appetite for new space. On the industrial side in particular, demand is beginning to outstrip supply although we haven’t quite yet seen a return to speculative new buildings coming through.”
Final ordinary and supplementary interim dividends totalling 15.5p per share will take the total dividend for the year to 19.0p per share, up 19% from 16.0p for 2012.