It’s most convenient for us property observers that we get the annual figures of the industry’s top two real estate agencies in consecutive days.
On Tuesday we got to crawl all over JLL’s numbers for 2014, and last night CBRE conveniently published it reflections on the year. So, let’s stick them side by side and see if we can come up with a winner. Is that fair? I don’t really care. It’s fun.
So, lets start with revenue rises. JLL gave us a 22% rise in revenues to $5.43bn (£3.57bn), while CBRE delivered a 26% rise to $9bn. 1-0 to CBRE.
So, moving on to net income. CBRE posted an 18% rise to $561.1m, while JLL posted a record rise of 37% to $393m. Yeah, CBRE made more, but the whopping rise from JLL takes this one. Honours even at 1-1.
When is came to adjusted earnings per share, CBRE gave us a 17% improvement to $1.68, while JLL delivered a 37% leap $8.69. How exciting. JLL has come back from 1-0 down to take a 2-1 lead, as we move into injury time.
Finally, let’s compare the earnings before tax, and all that other accounting stuff. EBITDA at CBRE hit a record a $1.2bn for 2014, up 14%. Over at JLL, the number was up almost 31% to $651m. So JLL builds a comfortable 3-1 lead.
So there you have it JLL 3 - CBRE 1. The clear winner in the battle of the big two for 2014 was CBRE. Yes, CBRE. It’s bigger. All its numbers are bigger, it’s valued at $10.76bn compared to JLL’s $6.6bn. It’s got bigger numbers across the board, and for two NYSE-listed companies biggest IS best. 3-1 to JLL means nothing when your opposition had a 5-0 lead form the first leg.
But CBRE shouldn’t be complacent. JLL is the Manchester City to its Manchester United. I had a chat with JLL’s EMEA boss Christian Ulbrich yesterday morning, and he revealed the group will not rest on its laurels. Indeed, the next 12 to18 months could be big for JLL, and CBRE needs to look over its shoulder.
What did Ulbrich tell me? Well, you’ll have to wait until we publish his comments in Property Week tomorrow, when you can, as they say, read all about it.