DTZ losses narrow after restructuring

Property advisor DTZ, employer of 120 people in its Manchester office, reported reduced losses for the year to May 2010.

Exceptional items, including redundancy payments, totalled £26.5m, resulting in a pre-tax loss of £22.9m. In 2009 the loss was £79.7m.

DTZ said on an operating basis it returned to profit, posting pre-tax and pre-exceptional items profit of £3.6m, compared to a loss of £35.1m in 2009.

Revenue across the group fell marginally by 2.2% to £356.0m, from £364.1m. Cash in the bank increased 33.9% to £50.6m, against £37.8m last year; net debt reduced to £47.5m (2009: £50.8m).

Mike Mitchell, managing director regions outside London, said: "It has been a significant year of progress for DTZ, which is reflected by our full year financial results which are at the top end of market expectations. DTZ's 120-strong North West offices in Manchester and Liverpool have made a solid contribution to group turnover during the financial year to the end of April 2010, despite the adverse market conditions faced.

"There were some significant deals for our northern region offices in the last financial year which demonstrate the strength of our local teams and our ability to meet our clients' evolving requirements."

Highlights of DTZ's year in the North West, cited by Mitchell in his statement, were:

  • Acting on behalf of Phoenix Life Ltd, DTZ sold Lakeside 5000, Umbro's global HQ in South Manchester, for £8.7m at a net yield of 7.5%
  • Appointed by Hudson Advisers to manage a £36m industrial portfolio previously managed by Lancashire-based investor Tim Knowles' First Investments
  • Advised Aberdeen Property Investors on behalf of a pension fund client on its purchase of Acresfield in Manchester city centre for £18.83m.

The statement to the stock exchange said DTZ's restructuring programme was now complete and had delivered cost savings of £75m, which was "greater and sooner than initial expectations".

The Asia Pacific business saw revenues rise 24.1% to £98.5m and operating profit pre-exceptional items of £8.7m (2009: loss of £7.2m).

Paul Idzik, group chief executive, said: "The year has been one of encouraging progress for DTZ. We have restored profitability on an operating basis and begun to see tangible benefits from our restructuring programme, the results of which are now firmly embedded in our business. Together with our strengthened balance sheet we are well positioned entering the new financial year.

"Looking forward, while our focus is on the profitable growth of the business, we are conscious there remains considerable economic uncertainty and geopolitical risk around the world and our outlook remains cautious."

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