Cushman & Wakefield reports record revenue

Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm, today reported gross revenue increased 21.9% to a record $2,498.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, compared with $2,050.1 million a year ago. Adjusted income attributable to owners of the parent increased 60.4% to $46.2 million, compared with the prior year of $28.8 million. Cushman & Wakefield is majority-owned by EXOR S.p.A., the investment company controlled by the Agnelli family.

Full-Year Highlights

• Gross revenue increased 21.9% and commission and service fee revenue increased 13.2%;
• Corporate Occupier & Investor Services (“CIS”) commission and service fee revenue increased 24.1% on record global property under management, which exceeded 1 billion square feet for the first time;
• Capital Markets commission and service fee revenue increased 22.7% on record global Investment Sales transaction volumes;
• Valuation & Advisory (“V&A”) commission and service fee revenue increased 13.3% on a record global value of appraisals completed, which exceeded $1 trillion for the second consecutive year;
• Adjusted EBITDA increased $13.8 million, or 10.5%, to $145.0 million, compared with $131.2 million for the prior year;
• Adjusted net income increased $17.4 million, or 60.4%, to $46.2 million, compared with $28.8 million for the prior year.

Edward C. Forst, Cushman & Wakefield’s President & Chief Executive Officer, said: “As the pace of the global economic recovery accelerated in the second half of 2013, strong investor demand followed during the period. Robust capital flows across investor classes and improving fundamentals resulted in strong real estate returns and increased allocations to the sector. While we remain cautiously optimistic, we expect investor participation to grow meaningfully in the coming years, driven in part by the rapid growth of sovereign wealth fund assets and investment activity.

“In 2013, C&W capitalized on the market’s strength to post the highest gross revenue in the firm’s history, supported by continued investment in strategic service lines across key gateway markets. This record performance was driven by a significant year-over-year revenue increase in CIS, with the addition of a number of world-class organizations to our growing roster of clients, as well as strong performance in our Capital Markets and V&A businesses. As owners and investors look to build asset value and occupiers seek to maximize the productivity and efficiency of their space, we remain committed to enhancing our clients’ success.”

Property under management by CIS globally as of year-end 2013 exceeded 1 billion square feet for the first time, increasing 17.1% to a record 1,055 million square feet compared with 901 million square feet a year earlier. CIS also had a number of notable wins during 2013 from world class organizations such as Citigroup, DLF, British Airways and The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. CIS was awarded facilities management for Citigroup’s 27 million square foot real estate portfolio in the United States and Canada as well as property management of a 17 million square foot portfolio for DLF, the largest developer in India. In addition, CIS was appointed by British Airways as its preferred real estate services provider in the UK (Airport sites), EMEA and the U.S. as well as by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey as property manager of the common areas and key operational facilities for the new World Trade Center campus in Lower Manhattan.

Capital Markets executed record Investment Sales transaction volumes in 2013, which increased 15% globally. Numerous high profile assignments included advising Mitsubishi Estate Company on the sale of King Edward Court, the headquarters building of the London Stock Exchange, to Oxford Properties for £235 million as well as Aberdeen Asset Management Deutschland AG on the sale of "The Park", a complex of twelve office buildings in Prague, to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, the largest investment deal in the Czech Republic ever. Additional successes include: arranging the sale of a 30-story office building at 113 Argyle Street in Hong Kong for $372 million; representing ownership in the $400 million sale of a ground lessor’s position at 625 Madison Avenue to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation; and representing St. John’s University in the sale of 101 Murray Street to a partnership between Fisher Brothers and The Witkoff Group for $223 million, the largest residential development site sale in Lower Manhattan.

Performance in V&A’s business was driven by a record global value of appraisals completed, which exceeded $1 trillion for the second consecutive year. Momentum was highlighted by a national scope assignment of over 700 department stores, distribution centers and a corporate headquarters campus for a major U.S. retailer. V&A was also appointed to value the retail element of Canary Wharf in the U.K., consisting of over 200 retail units and 68,300 square meters, on behalf of Canary Wharf Group PLC as well as to appraise the 1,501 room Mandarin Orchard and the 125,293 square foot Mandarin Gallery for OUE Hospitality Trust prior to one of Singapore’s largest hotel and retail asset Initial Public Offerings (”IPO”) in recent years.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Leasing business achieved record transaction volumes in 2013, which increased 7% globally, and remains well positioned to capture opportunities presented by recovering markets. Notable appointments include being named as exclusive leasing agent in Manhattan for 75 Rockefeller Plaza and 1221 Avenue of the Americas as well as joint marketing agent in Singapore to lease both Marina One and DUO. The Company also won high profile assignments in London with the leasing mandate on the Scalpel, WR Berkley’s 400,000 square foot iconic development and as Retail & Leisure consultant on the 1 million square foot Battersea Power Station development. In addition, Cushman & Wakefield was chosen by Syniverse Technologies for a strategic tenant advisory assignment for a 200,000 square foot Class A global headquarters.

Cushman & Wakefield continued to invest in targeted acquisitions and key strategic hires in 2013 as part of its long-term strategic plan. CIS acquired the Singapore-based project management company Project Solution Group on July 1st, which positions C&W as a market leader in project management services in the Asia Pacific region. C&W hired 1,854 professionals in 2013 compared to more than 1,700 professionals during 2012.

Full-Year 2013 Results
For year ended December 31, 2013, gross revenue increased $448.5 million, or 21.9% (22.8% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), to a record $2,498.6 million, compared with $2,050.1 million for the prior year. Gross revenue growth was led by CIS, which increased 40.0% year-over-year.
Commission and service fee revenue increased $211.5 million, or 13.2% (14.3% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), to $1,808.5 million, compared with $1,597.0 million for the prior year. Commission and service fee revenue, which increased by double digits across all regions and nearly all service lines, was driven by growth in CIS, Capital Markets and V&A, which were up 24.1%, 22.7% and 13.3%, respectively, while Leasing grew 6.3% despite sluggish market conditions.
Operating expenses increased $108.8 million, or 12.5%, to $977.1 million in 2013, compared with $868.3 million for the prior year, primarily due to increases in employment-related expenses and other direct costs in line with the Company’s revenue growth and strategic plan initiatives. Also included in operating expenses for the year are certain acquisition and non-recurring reorganization charges of approximately $4.6 million. As a result, the Company’s operating income increased $11.5 million, or 14.4%, to $91.4 million, compared with $79.9 million in the prior year.
Adjusted EBITDA was $145.0 million, representing an increase of $13.8 million, or 10.5%, compared to EBITDA of $131.2 million for the prior year, which was not impacted by charges. EBITDA as reported increased to $138.4 million.
Adjusted income attributable to owners of the parent increased $17.4 million, or 60.4%, to $46.2 million, compared with $28.8 million for the prior year. Income attributable to owners of the parent as reported decreased to $45.3 million, compared with $50.9 million.
Under IFRS , Adjusted EBITDA was $130.1 million, representing an increase of $2.4 million compared to EBITDA of $127.7 million for the prior year, which was not impacted by charges. EBITDA as reported decreased to $119.1 million. Adjusted income attributable to owners of the parent increased $8.0 million, or 30.8%, to $34.0 million, compared with $26.0 million for the prior year. Income attributable to owners of the parent as reported decreased to $28.7 million, compared with $43.2 million.
The strong revenue performance and solid earnings results year-over-year positively impacted Cushman & Wakefield’s balance sheet. As of December 31, 2013, the Company’s net debt position (debt less cash and cash equivalents) decreased by $91.0 million to $8.6 million, compared with a net debt position of $99.6 million as of December 31, 2012.

Fourth-Quarter 2013 Results
Fourth-quarter 2013 gross revenue increased $175.9 million, or 26.7% (27.7% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), to $833.6 million, compared with $657.7 million for the prior year period. Gross revenue growth was led by CIS, which increased 54.9% year-over-year.
Commission and service fee revenue increased $87.6 million, or 16.2% (17.1% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), to $628.3 million, compared with $540.7 million for the prior year quarter. Commission and service fee revenue, which increased by double digits across all service lines and nearly all regions, was driven by growth in CIS, Capital Markets and V&A, which were up 30.1%, 14.5% and 11.6%, respectively, as well as a12.9% improvement from Leasing.
Operating expenses increased $49.6 million, or 20.2%, to $295.6 million in the fourth-quarter, compared with $246.0 million for the prior year period, primarily due to increases in employment-related expenses and other direct costs in line with the Company’s revenue growth and strategic plan initiatives. Also included in operating expenses for the quarter are certain acquisition and non-recurring reorganization charges of approximately $3.0 million. As a result, the Company’s operating income decreased to $72.4 million, compared with $75.1 million in the prior year quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased to $88.0 million, compared with EBITDA of $90.4 million for the prior year quarter, which was not impacted by charges. EBITDA as reported decreased to $86.0 million.
Adjusted income attributable to owners of the parent decreased to $45.4 million, compared with $47.8 million for the prior year quarter. Income attributable to owners of the parent as reported decreased to $47.3 million, compared with $69.9 million.
Under IFRS, Adjusted EBITDA decreased to $73.9 million, compared with EBITDA of $88.8 million for the prior year quarter, which was not impacted by charges. EBITDA as reported decreased to $70.2 million. Adjusted income attributable to owners of the parent decreased to $34.0 million, compared with $43.2 million for the prior year quarter. Income attributable to owners of the parent as reported decreased to $32.8 million, compared with $60.4 million.