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Real estate firm Savills' profit hit by investments

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Real estate firm Savills' profit hit by investments
FILE PHOTO A worker puts up a Savills estate agents sign in London, Britain, April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls   -   Copyright  Henry Nicholls(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Real estate services provider Savills Plc <SVS.L> reported an 18 percent fall in first-half pre-tax profit on Thursday, as it invested more in its business, and said it had seen an influx of non-domestic investors in London’s office market.

Savills, founded in 1855, said pre-tax profit fell to 26.7 million pounds in the six months ended June, from 32.4 million pounds a year earlier.

“In line with our overall growth strategy, we have continued to invest across the business, which has affected profits in the short term,” Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Helsby said.

London’s office market saw transactions worth 9 billion pounds in the first half, 71 percent of which were to non-domestic investors, Savills said.

“Many of these investors, while they accept that occupational risk has increased due to Brexit, still see the UK as comparatively secure in a global context,” the company said.

A weaker pound and higher yields have maintained overseas investor interest in British real estate, Savills said, adding that rising interest rates could temper investment activity in the future.

The firm’s first-half revenue grew 6 percent to 58.2 million pounds in its British residential business.

Savills said the political and economic uncertainty created by Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union make it difficult to predict market volumes for the rest of the year.

The company, which operates in Britain, continental Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Middle East and the United States, said full-year performance would be in line with its expectations.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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