CBRE Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate brokerage, reported an 11% jump in revenue during the fourth quarter, led in part by thriving property markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Profit was down from the same period in 2012, however, as the Los Angeles company wrote down $106.6 million primarily on the decreased value of its investment pools in Europe
Fourth-quarter net income was $114.6 million, or 34 cents a share, down from $173 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Excluding selected charges, profit would have been 67 cents, a penny over analysts' estimates.
"We ended 2013 on a high note," Chief Executive Bob Sulentic said, with double-digit revenue and adjusted earnings growth for the fourth quarter and full year.
Reflecting the strength of the real estate investment market, revenue from arranging property sales in the fourth quarter increased 19%. Revenue from arranging property leases was up 10%.
CBRE's revenue from managing real estate development fell from a year earlier, but its business of operating commercial properties for third-party owners continued to grow.
"Corporations are looking to cut costs, and most of them don't need an internal real estate department," said analyst Craig Silvers, president of Bricks & Mortar Capital.
"Overall it was a good quarter," Silvers said, "and they didn't blame anything on the weather."
CBRE shares closed down 6 cents, or 0.2%, to $26.72 before its earnings were announced.