CB Richard Ellis profit declines

From Times Wire Services

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate broker by market value, said fourth-quarter profit fell on higher interest expenses.

Net income declined to $122.4 million from $125.1 million in the year earlier, the Los Angeles-based company said. Per share net income rose to 54 cents from 53 cents after the company bought back shares.

"Our performance was especially strong over the first nine months of 2007 but moderated later in the year," Chief Executive Brett White said. "Fourth-quarter results were impacted by the softer investment sales environment brought about by the continuing difficulties in the credit markets."

The company earns nearly a third of its revenue from commissions on leasing commercial space and an additional 23% from property management. U.S. office building sales plunged as much as 50% in the quarter because of rising borrowing costs, according to New York-based Real Capital Analytics Inc.

CB Richard Ellis shares fell $1.35, or 7.1%, to $17.75.

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