CBRE revenue jumps 22%; profit soars 51%

A sign of an improving economy: CBRE Group reports a 22% jump in revenue, led in part by a leap in leasing

Real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc. reported a 22% jump in revenue during the second quarter, led in part by a leap in leasing commissions as U.S. firms expanded in the improving economy.

The Los Angeles firm, the world's largest commercial real estate brokerage, said Tuesday that revenue from arranging transactions to rent space in offices, warehouses and other commercial properties grew 14% from the same period last year.

It was the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in leasing revenue. Activity was particularly strong in the Americas, where CBRE also improved its market share, the company said.

The increase in leasing is "definitely a sign of growth" in the U.S. economy, said analyst Craig Silvers, president of Bricks & Mortar Capital. "Many cities are experiencing a surge in demand for office space."

Among them are San Francisco, Seattle and Houston, Silvers said, "where money is flowing to traditional technology firms as well as biotech."

CBRE's profit rose 51% to $105.5 million, or 32 cents a share, from $69.9 million, or 21 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding selected charges, profit would have been 36 cents a share, meeting Wall Street analysts' expectations.

CBRE shares closed down 47 cents, or 1.43%, to $32.51 before its earnings were announced.

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