Colliers International's Manchester-based industrial team handled 52 deals last year, representing a total of two million sq ft.
The number of deals was down by 22% from 67 in 2010 when the total floor space was 3.4 million sq ft, but the team said the year-on-year change reflected the "difficult" state of the industrial market and the wider challenges in the economy.
Key deals by the team, headed by director Julien Kenny-Levick, included Asda's acquisition from Wilson Bowden of a 625,000 sq ft specialist chill facility at Kingsway Business Park, Rochdale.
Colliers also let a 360,000 sq ft new distribution space on G Park Liverpool at Knowsley to parcel delivery giant DHL on a 10-year lease on behalf of Gazeley UK, and advised Waitrose on its 400,000 sq ft distribution centre at Chorley, Lancashire.
Kenny-Levick said: "2011 was a very successful year for the team and we are pleased to have provided key advice to the likes of Asda. However, the market remains a very testing and competitive environment and maintaining this momentum is a key challenge for the team as we enter 2012."