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California and the West | EARNINGS ROUNDUP

CB Richard Ellis' Profit Climbs 27%

July 27, 2006|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Real estate services company CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a 27% jump in second-quarter profit on strong leasing and sales of commercial buildings across the globe.

The company's net income was $64.3 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $50.4 million, or 22 cents, a year earlier. Revenue for the three-month period that ended June 30 increased 24% to $836.2 million.

Excluding one-time items, profit at the El Segundo firm was $79.2 million, or 34 cents a share, beating Wall Street's expectations of 29 cents a share.

"Commercial real estate markets worldwide have good momentum," Chief Executive Brett White said.

Supported by expanding employment rolls, the U.S. leasing market continued to improve. Office occupancy and rents increased in many business markets across the country, he said.

The dollar value of U.S. investment property sales surpassed that of the second quarter of last year, but the pace of growth has eased from the heated levels of 2004 and 2005.

"It's an excellent time to be in the real estate management business because corporations are expanding and the demand for office and retail space is rising," analyst Craig Silvers of Bricks & Mortar Capital said. "More volume translates into more business for firms such as CB Richard Ellis."

Revenue from the company's European operations increased 38% on higher leasing activity and revenue from property appraisals. In Asia, sales rose 96% as CB Richard Ellis increased its ownership percentage in its Japanese affiliate.

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