CBRE Q1 results buoyed by "robust" EMEA growth

By James Buckley - Thursday, May 01, 2014 9:51

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CBRE’s EBITDA rose 23% to $198.8m over the first quarter of the year from $161.3m this time last year, as the company cited “robust” growth in EMEA, particularly Europe.

Group revenue for the quarter totalled $1.9bn, an increase of 26%, or 27% in local currency from $1.5bn in the first quarter of 2013.

Sales revenue increased 61% in EMEA as the agent benefited from recovering activity in continental European markets that had been affected by the economic downturn as well as continued strength in Germany and the UK.

The company’s occupier outsourcing business, Global Corporate Services (GCS), continued to grow strongly, with revenue in that business line increasing 61%, reflecting 12% organic growth supplemented by strong contributions from the recent acquisition of Norland.

“The Norland team has done a great job of integrating with our overall GCS offering in Europe,” said Bob Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE. “We are benefiting significantly from the continued organic expansion of Norland’s business base as well as our success in introducing its technical capabilities to CBRE’s existing occupier clients. We are pleased with the enhanced growth prospects Norland affords us.”

The company signed GCS contracts with 25 new occupier customers and expanded its service offering with 24 existing clients. EMEA and Asia Pacific were notably active, as international companies increasingly embrace outsourcing.

During the quarter, CBRE signed outsourcing contracts with international occupiers such as Alibaba Group, Société Générale and Wipro.

Mike Strong, executive chairman, CBRE – Europe, Middle East and Africa, added: “CBRE’s EMEA business started this year with excellent momentum, achieving impressive organic growth and market share gains, with double-digit growth from all major service lines. 

“Our capital markets business was once again the star performer, boosted by better confidence in the Eurozone, improved lending conditions, and greater appetite from overseas investors for a wider range of market locations and property types. Our Q1 performance also benefited from the contribution made by Norland, which adds an important new dimension to our EMEA outsourcing capability and has already resulted in a number of new client service mandates.” 

EMEA revenue rose 127% (122% in local currency) to $518.7m, compared with $228.6m for the first quarter of 2013. The increase was broad based, as every major business line showed double-digit growth. Performance improved in several countries, most notably in the UK. Excluding contributions from Norland, EMEA revenue increased 32%.

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