StockMarketWire.com - Estate agent Savills has reported that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on global real estate market volumes as lockdowns reduced the volume of transactional activity which could be conducted.

In a trading update, the company said that group full-year performance will depend on the extent to which regional transactional markets recover in the second half.

Savills reported that its less transactional businesses of consultancy and property management have performed well to date, with improved revenue and profitability over the comparable period in 2019 'partially mitigating the effect of reduced transactional activity'.

It said the Asia Pacific region of its business experienced the most significant impact in the early part of the period with lockdowns in Greater China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Singapore substantially reducing advisory activity, but that as these countries have emerged from lockdown through the second quarter, it has seen 'clear signs of recovery in activity'.

More than 90% of its offices around the world are open and either working on a rota system or fully staffed, it confirmed.

Savills said the cash impact of its trading performance means that its half-year net debt position is on course to be substantially reduced in comparison with the same period last year, when net debt was £139m.

The company said it had maintained staffing levels but that senior management salary cuts of 20% had been taken across the group and the 2019 final dividend had been cancelled.

Chief executive Mark Ridley said: 'Although the short-term outlook remains difficult accurately to predict, we are confident in the strength and resilience of our global, diversified business.'





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