Jones Lang LaSalle’s pre-tax profits fall 40% to €1.75m

PRE-tax profits at property firm Jones Lang LaSalle decreased by 40% last year to €1.75 million.

Filings with the Companies Registration Office confirm Jones Lang LaSalle revenues to the end of December last year dropped by 30%, from €14.6m to €10.1m. In the space of three years, the company’s revenues have halved from the €20.4m recorded in 2007.

The Dublin-based firm is one of five firms appointed by NAMA to advise on property valuations on a national basis and former chairman John Mulcahy has been appointed head of portfolio management at the agency.

The company has also been engaged by the Central Bank/Financial Regulator on bank stabilisation measures and to the end of July had received €840,000 for its work.

Commenting on the results, managing director John Moran said that he was “very pleased” with the company’s performance last year.

Mr Moran said: “We are very satisfied with last year. For any business in our industry to make a profit last year, when the volume of transactions was at an all time low, is pretty unusual.”

Mr Moran said that Jones Lang LaSalle is better placed than other property firms to weather the recession “as our revenues are not dependent on transactions. We have very strong property management and property valuation businesses”.

Mr Moran confirmed that the company is on course to make a profit in 2010. He said: “This year has even been more difficult than last year, but we will make a profit.”

The US-owned Jones Lang LaSalle specialises in commercial property and the accounts confirm that Mr Mulcahy resigned as a director of the firm in February of this year.

The figures show that the company’s 12 directors last year received an aggregate €4.48m in emoluments, including pension contributions, expenses and share-based payments, an average of €373,416 each over the 12 months.

The €4.48m in emoluments to directors represents 44% of the company’s turnover last year and was more than twice the company’s pre-tax profits.

The filings show that the company’s accumulated profits at the end of 2009 had risen to €27.9m. Mr Moran said: “The company is in a fairly healthy financial position.”

The directors state that they do not propose the payment of a dividend.

The figures show that the numbers employed by the company, including directors, was reduced from 72 to 62 last year. Staff costs, including remuneration to directors, last year decreased by 27% from €9.4m to €6.8m.

The filings show that the company’s operating expenses reduced by 28.5%, from €12.4m to €8.8m. The company’s operating profits dropped by 40% from €2.1m to €1.2m, with pre-tax profits boosted by net interest receivable of €455,000.

According to the directors’ report, the key risk faced by the company is the downturn in the Irish economy and commercial property and this downturn is evidenced in last year’s turnover and profits decreasing.

They continue: “With the impact of the global downturn, this decline is expected to continue well into 2010, resulting in a need for the company to focus on cost control and client interests to maintain profitability and grow market share.”

Globally, last year, Jones Lang LaSalle recorded revenues of $2.48bn (€1.8bn) employing 36,600.

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