Knight Frank reports dip in profits despite turnover growth

Knight Frank has reported a 4.5% fall in full-year profit before tax despite growing its turnover.

The partnership posted profits of £145.7m for the year to the end of March and turnover of £476.2m, which was up 3.3% on the prior year.

Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman, said there were moments during the year when events like Brexit and stamp duty reforms looked like they could have caused “a much more challenging set of results”.

However, he said the business had benefited from a strong second half of the year.

“We are in a better place than I thought we’d be a year ago,” he said.

In the UK, the firm highlighted residential lettings, Knight Frank Finance and Knight Frank Investment Management among the areas of the business that had performed best.

It added that growth had been driven by overseas markets, notably Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa.  

Refreshed strategy

Elliott said Knight Frank had refreshed its strategy over the past year to “place a greater focus on our strengths around our global network”.

As part of the new plan, the firm has identified 12 key cities outside the UK where it sees “substantial room for growth” including major real estate markets like Berlin, Paris and Hong Kong as well as smaller growth markets like Nairobi in Kenya where Knight Frank is already established.

At the same time, Knight Frank is also looking to grow in the UK, particularly in areas such as PRS, residential lettings and distribution.

Elliott said the business was well prepared for any potential challenges that the coming year may bring.

“My job is to ensure the firm is in the best position possible and all I can say is the business has never been in a better place.”

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