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Savills sees better-than-expected profits in 2015 but stays cautious

Property group sees annual results above hopes but kept its 2016 forecast unchanged
Savills sees better-than-expected profits in 2015 but stays cautious
A property deal in Berlin came in earlier than expected

Upmarket property agent Savills (LON:SVS) forecast annual profits ahead of hopes after a strong year but voiced caution about the outlook.

Savills said it had a good end to the year with the completion of some significant commercial deals in several of its international businesses.

But it said it predicted a slowdown in deal volume due to increased global economic uncertainty and higher interest rates.

The group said in a trading update for the year to December 31: "We expect a tempering of the strong transaction volumes of recent times in certain markets, notwithstanding that market fundamentals remain sound.

"Accordingly we retain our original expectations for 2016."

Deals in 2015 included the disposal by Savills Investment Management (SIM) of the substantial Berlin-based Potsdamer Platz assets on behalf of SEB ImmoInvest Fund.

It was part of the liquidation of a number of German open-ended funds managed by the former SEB Investment Management business, which Savills bought in August.

The Potsdamer Platz transaction occurred earlier than expected, which led to a stronger-than-expected performance from SIM in 2015.

Shares in Savills dropped in early trading but recovered to stand 40.5p ahead at 885.5p by mid-morning.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: "Its shares fell in early trading after it decided to retain its outlook for the current year."

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