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CB Richard Ellis' profit jumps 24.5%

October 30, 2007|From Bloomberg News

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate broker, said Monday that its third-quarter profit rose 24.5%, helped by investment sales brokerage and international leasing.

Net income rose to $114.9 million, or 48 cents a share, from $92.3 million, or 39 cents, a year earlier, the Los Angeles-based company said. Revenue increased 54% to $1.49 billion.

"Investment sales activity showed solid growth despite a pullback in property valuations, reduced availability of debt financing for larger asset sales, and tighter underwriting standards," Chief Executive Brett White said.

The company earns nearly a third of its revenue from commissions on leasing commercial space and an additional 23% from property management. Tenant demand for those services remained strong in the third quarter even as the number of leveraged buyers for investment properties dwindled.

Results beat the company's internal projections, White said, and the company affirmed its 2007 full-year forecast.

"The leasing market is holding up pretty well," JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Michael Fox said.

Net income, excluding some items, was expected to be 57 cents a share, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

CB Richard Ellis shares rose 88 cents to $26.74.

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