Jones Lang LaSalle pre-tax profits decline 31% to €1.2m

PRE-TAX profits at one of the country’s best known property firms Jones Lang LaSalle decreased by 31% last year to €1.2 million.

The filings confirm that Jones Lang LaSalle Ltd’s annual revenues to the end of December last year dropped by 9% from €10.1m to €9.2m — in four years they have more than 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 managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, John Moran, said yesterday that the company’s work for NAMA “was relatively good for us in 2010”.

Mr Moran said that the company’s work for the agency was focused on business plan reviews and also on property valuations. He said: “That work is coming to an end now.”

Commenting on the company’s results for 2010, Mr Moran said that he is “very satisfied with the company’s performance given the extremely difficult trading environment”.

Mr Moran said: “To make a profit in the current environment is quite an achievement.”

He said that the projected results this year “are looking pretty similar to last year with the 2010 numbers again”.

Mr Moran said that the projected profit for 2011 “will be an even greater achievement than 2010 given that the investment market is non-existent”.

Mr Moran attributed this to “Government interference in the market that involves the proposed retrospective ban on upward only rent reviews”.

He said that the company “has contained costs while maximising revenues in the absence of a properly functioning property market”.

Mr Moran said that this has resulted in the company diversifying more to consultancy and advisory work.

The US-owned Jones Lang LaSalle specialises in commercial property and figures show that the directors last year received an aggregate €2.8m in emoluments — an average payout of €255,272 to each of the 11 directors.

The €2.8m paid out represents a 37% drop on the €4.4m in emoluments received in 2009 by directors that includes pension contributions, expenses and share-based payments.

The filings show that the company’s accumulated profits at the end of 2010 had risen to €28.3m.

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, reduced from 62 to 61 last year. Staff costs, including remuneration to directors, last year decreased by 8% from €6.8m to €6.2m — directors emoluments accounted for 44% of staff costs last year.

Operating expenses dropped by 2.75% from €8.8m to €8.6m with pre-tax profits boosted by net interest receivable of €595,000. The company’s operating profit last year was €610,000 compared to €1.29m in 2009.

The profits include the non-cash depreciation cost of €313,000.

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.

The report continues: “With the impact of the global downturn this decline is expected to continue well into 2011 resulting in a need for the company to focus on cost control and client interests to maintain profitability and grow market share.”

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