DTZ: Investment strong in region despite pretax loss

Michael Hunt

Mike Mitchell, managing director of DTZ's northern region, has reported a strong contribution to the group's turnover from the North West investment market.

In a statement following the company's report of a pretax loss of £20.6m in the six months to 31 October, Mitchell said: "Despite current market conditions DTZ's Northern region has continued to perform well and made a strong contribution to Group turnover as illustrated by a number of examples of major business wins including further occupiers at Spinningfields in Manchester including Bank of New York, BDO, GMC and PKF, meaning the 350,000 sq ft building is now 85% let.

"There are also signs of increasing activity in the investment market with the return of private equity and some of the institutions who now see value in the sector. DTZ's Manchester investment team has secured the forward funding of a £50m office building at Mann Island, a World Heritage waterfront site in Liverpool. In addition, the team has agreed the sale of Umbro's global HQ, Lakeside 5000, for £8.7m; the sale of Manchester's 'greenest' office building, BDP's HQ; and the sale of the HMV building on Market Street, Manchester for over £14m.

"DTZ's development consulting team, including planning, strategic development and regeneration, are currently advising on a number of high profile schemes across the region. These include: producing a masterplan for the redevelopment of Maryport harbour in Cumbria."

With careful stock selection and more focus on asset management, Mitchell said he expects investors to take advantage of some excellent buying opportunities.

He added: "Despite difficult economic circumstances I am pleased with the region's performance. Following a very difficult year property investment markets now can be comforted that we are experiencing a stabilisation of yields. Investors and occupiers must be mindful that we may continue to see pressure on rents over the coming year, but with careful stock selection and a strong focus on the asset management strategies investors can expect some excellent buying opportunities.

"There are continuing opportunities in the public sector which are being actively serviced by DTZ who has a breadth of expertise across the region to service this important sector of growth in the economy."

"I've been at DTZ for 30 years yet the future is as exciting now as when I started. 2009 was a transformational year for DTZ. I am confident 2010 will see our clients and DTZ reap the benefits."

DTZ reported exceptional charges of £16m resulted in a group pretax loss of £20.6m. However, the firm reported that its operational performance was robust. Revenue fell by 8.7% to £168.2m and the underlying pretax loss, excluding one-off charges, halved to £4.6m. At the EBITDA it turned a £3m loss last year into a £1.8m profit.

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