Real Estate Broker Giant CBRE Group Reports 12% Profit Gain

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CBRE Group Inc., the world's largest real estate brokerage and services company, reported third quarter revenue of $1.5 billion, up 21% from $1.3 billion in 2010.

Net income was $63.8 million, or 20 cents per share, a 12 percent increase over the third quarter of 2010, when income was $57 million.

We are very pleased to report double-digit growth in revenue, earnings and adjusted [Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization] during a time of increased financial market volatility and economic uncertainty, said Brett White, CEO of CBRE, in a statement. Global revenue rose significantly in nearly all of our major service lines and geographies, reflecting the durability of the commercial real estate market recovery, coupled with our ability to improve market share in an uneven macro environment.

The company was boosted by outsourcing, where revenue increased 19%. CBRE expanded its relationships in Europe and Asia, although revenue from capital markets - including sales of buildings and mortgage brokerage - posted lower gains. CBRE signed 49 long-term outsourcing contracts, including 15 in the health care and government markets.

Global property sales rose 23 percent, with the Americas leading the way with a 42 percent gain. In New York, CBRE's investment sales brokers Darcy Stacom and William Shanhan sold 475 Fifth Avenue for $144 million, a 49.5 percent stake in 299 Park Avenue that valued the building at $1.25 billion, and 2 Grand Central Tower for over $400 million in the third quarter.

Overall property leasing was up 19 percent, with all regions improving with double-digit growth.

Despite the European debt crisis, Europe, the Middle East and Africa were the strongest revenue growth areas for CBRE, with a 28 percent increase in revenue. Property leasing in Europe was up 33 percent.

Globally, the commercial real estate market recovery continues, albeit hesitantly, amid weak growth in many of the world's leading economies. That said, our third-quarter results demonstrate our ability to perform for clients and shareholders in a difficult market environment. We are very well positioned for this recovery cycle, with a strong balance sheet, and remain keenly focused on sustaining our growth and improving our operating leverage going forward, said White, CBRE CEO, in a statement.

CBRE shares were up around 10 percent on Friday to $18.89 per share. 

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