- Estate agent Savills has announced a fall in revenue and pre-tax profits as commercial transaction revenue reduced 23% overall in the first half of 2020 due to the pandemic, with Asia Pacific and North America 'particularly affected'.

In the six months to 30 June 2020, Savills delivered revenue of £791.4m, a decrease of 7% from £847m in the first half of 2019, while underlying profit tumbled 66% to £13.2m, down from £38.4m in the same period a year earlier.

The company reported that pre-tax profit fell 69% to £7.7m in the first half of 2020, compared to £24.7m in the first half of 2019.

Savills said that its less transactional businesses 'helped mitigate the significant impact of Covid-19' on global leasing and investment market volumes, particularly in the second quarter, with property and facilities management revenue up 4% and consultancy revenue increasing 1%.

In Asia Pacific, real estate investment activity contracted by 40% year-on-year, although it expects regional growth momentum to turn positive in the second half of 2020.

Savills reported that in the US, overall demand for office space fell 'substantially' in the second quarter and the market volume of leasing activity for the first half of 2020 fell by 31% compared to the same period in 2019.

The company saw investment activity in Europe reduce by 48% in the second quarter as a result of the lockdown measures.

Revenue declined 6% in Savills Investment Management, mainly due to lower performance fee income, the company said, with period end assets under management up 11% at €20.4bn helped by an increase in base management fees.

Group chief executive Mark Ridley said: 'During this period, our less transactional businesses have provided a solid platform for the group and our transactional business teams have partially mitigated the effect of significantly lower levels of trading activity by winning increased market share.'

He warned that the economic environment 'remains highly uncertain' due to the possibility of 'second wave outbreaks causing further lockdowns', but said that Savills had seen signs of recovery in residential markets and a number of commercial transaction markets in recent weeks.

At 8:11am: [LON:SVS] Savills PLC share price was +3.25p at 773.75p

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