CB Richard Ellis Rises on Real Estate Turnaround

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CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (NYSE:CBG) reported first quarter 2010 revenues of $1.0 billion compared to $890.4 million in the year-earlier quarter -- an increase of 15%. The company reported a net loss of $6.6 million or 2 cents per share during the quarter, compared to a net loss of $36.7 million or 14 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding the non-recurring items, CB Richard Ellis reported a net income of $3.2 million or 1 penny per share during the quarter, compared to a net loss of $7.5 million or 3 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The better-than-expected results were primarily due to improved performance across all geographic regions and business lines.

During the quarter, global property sales revenue increased 51% year-over-year, while leasing revenue increased 23%, driven by strong performance in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, leasing revenue also increased 25% during the quarter on a year-over-year basis, primarily driven by growth in the U.K. and France. At quarter end, CB Richard Ellis had cash and cash equivalents of $680.3 million.

Revenue for the Americas increased 12% year-over-year to $645.6 million, while operating income increased to $45.8 million from $22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region grew by 16% to $188.2 million, while the Asia-Pacific region recorded the strongest growth of 44% to $134.4 million.

Operating income for the EMEA region was $1.3 million for the quarter vis-à-vis an operating loss of $6.1 million in the year-ago period, while that of the Asia-Pacific region increased to $6.2 million from $0.7 million.

The Global Investment Management segment, comprising investment management operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, reported revenues of $39.4 million during the quarter, compared to $37.3 million in the year-earlier quarter. Assets under management totaled $33.3 billion at the end of the quarter, down 4% from year-end 2009.

During the quarter, the Development Services segment, including real estate development and investment activities primarily in the U.S., reported a 12.4% reduction in revenues to $18.3 million.

The current market dislocations have resulted in newer opportunities for CB Richard Ellis such as distressed assets marketing and service of failed commercial mortgage-backed securities loan funds. The gradual revival of the overall economy has also enabled the company to drive its growth engine, and we remain encouraged about indications of stabilization and a recovery of market conditions.