Commercial property

Symmetry Park supports growth at Savills in 'challenging times'

Written by Peter Davison.

Symmetry Park SwindonThe largest industrial/warehouse letting in the South West in 2018 supported financial growth at the UK operation of international property agent Savills in challenging times for the real estate industry.

Retailer Iceland Foods signed a lease on the speculatively developed Unit 1 Symmetry Park in Swindon late last year. The unit extends to 221,173 sq ft at a rent of £6.75 per sq ft, plus a rent-free period of 7.5 months.

It is the only speculatively developed warehouse over 150,000 sq ft in the region and is the first to complete on the park.

This week, preliminary results for Savills showed a ten percent growth in revenue to £1.76bn, but a virtual stalling of profits at two percent – £143.7m.

Group chief executive Mark Riley said: "Savills delivered both revenue and underlying profit growth in 2018, driven by a robust second half of the year.

"In addition to maintaining or growing our share of transactional markets, the performance of our less transactional business lines was key to this performance. "We have made a solid start to 2019; however, the year ahead is overshadowed by macro-economic and political uncertainties across the world. It is difficult accurately to predict the impact of these issues on corporate expansionary activity and investor demand for real estate.

"At this stage, we expect to see declines in transaction volumes in a number of markets and growth in our less transactional business lines; accordingly we retain our expectations for the Group's performance in 2019."

Commenting on the performance of the South West division, Paddy Hales, head of Savills Bristol, said: "Over the past year Savills Bristol has transacted some significant deals including the largest warehouse letting in 2018 at Symmetry Park Swindon and the sale of Aurora (a seven-storey office block in Bristol) for Cubex and Palmer Capital."