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'Exciting juncture in Scotland'

Savills sees return to growth and confidence

Carbisdale 2Property agent Savills drew on strong performances overseas to offset a pre-election slowdown in the UK residential market which has begun to improve.

The company bolstered its rural business in the half year with the acquisition of Smiths Gore and is close to completing the acquisition of SEB Asset Management.

Chief execurtive Jeremy Helsby said: “Looking to the second half, we currently see no significant change in the overall outlook for our business. Our core markets continue to be highly demand-driven as a result of the continued substantial capital allocation to real estate around the world.

“Furthermore, in many markets we are now seeing rental growth and increased occupier confidence. Savills is well placed to act on the  opportunities arising from occupier and investor demand globally. The board remains confident in its expectations for the full year.”

Mark Fleming who jointly heads up the Scottish Region with Charles Dudgeon said: “We are delighted with the results which mirror the growth across our region. We are at an exciting juncture in our growth in Scotland and as well as recently opening our new multi disciplined Aberdeen office, we have a number of new recruits to announce in the coming months aimed at strengthening our service offer throughout Scotland.”

Mr Dudgeon also commented that having just recently acquired Smith Gore the head office count has risen to 250 in Scotland, with new offices in Fochabers, Haddington and Dumfries.

Among the properties it has marketed is Carbisdale Castle (pictured) in Sutherland, the last castle built in Scotland.

Mr Fleming said: “The common thread is, despite recent political flux, Scotland is very much open for business and we look forward to ensuring we have the pool of talent and geographical spread within Savills to continue to offer best in class service for our current and future clients.”

Highlights:

•  Group revenue up 27% (25% in constant currency) to £547.0m (H1 2014: £430.8m)

•  Group underlying profit before tax up 28% (24% in constant currency) to £38.4m (H1 2014:

   £30.1m)

•  Group profit before tax up 7% to £26.4m* (H1 2014: £24.7m)

•  Underlying basic earnings per share up 16% to 20.0p (H1 2014: 17.2p)

•  Basic earnings per share down 17% to 11.7p* (H1 2014: 14.1p)

•  Interim dividend increased 7% to 4.0p per share (H1 2014: 3.75p)

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