‘Strong year’ for Savills investment team in Leeds but lower group profit

COMMERCIAL property investment in Yorkshire bucked the trend for Savills as revenues and profits for the whole group fell last year.

Savills advised on the acquisition of several offices in Leeds including 15/16 Park Row, next to Park Row House.
Savills advised on the acquisition of several offices in Leeds including 15/16 Park Row, next to Park Row House.

The property adviser and agent saw revenues for 2020 fall nine per cent to £1.74bn and underlying pre-tax profit fall a third to £96.6m. Savills’ transactional business was particularly hard hit, with underlying profits down 72 per cent to £19.4m. In a statement, the group said that transactional activity would remain suppressed in the first half of 2021

However, Paul Fairhurst, head of Savills Leeds, described investment in the city as ‘particularly strong’ last year and said the firm had been involved with major leasing deals throughout Yorkshire.

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Savills advised on the acquisition of several offices in Leeds, including 15/16 Park Row, Vantage House and 3/4 The Embankment. It also advised on the sale of former Leeds City Council buildings on Great George Street.

Mr Fairhurst said: “We’re exceptionally proud of what our teams achieved in a year of continued uncertainty. Our investment team had a particularly strong year.”

He added: “Our teams have also been involved with major leasing deals throughout the region, including securing a 30,000 sq ft office pre-let in Calder Park. We look forward to continuing the ongoing success of Savills Leeds throughout 2021.”

The listed company, which operates in about 70 countries, said its UK residential arm grew revenues by 10 per cent in 2020 after the market recovered strongly when it reopened last summer.

Looking ahead, Mark Ridley, group chief executive, said: “We remain confident in the long term attraction of real estate as an asset class and although macro-economic uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 clearly remains, we see enhanced investor demand for income and improvements in leasing activity.”