Cushman & Wakefield returned to the black in the third quarter of 2008.

The New-York based property services firm, 72.1% owned by Ifil, the investment arm of the Agnelli family, made a pre-tax profit of €7.6m (£6.5m).

This was higher than the same period last year but comes on the back of two loss-making quarters. The firm is heading for a loss-making year after recording a loss of €36.4m (£31.2m) for the first nine months.

The results were released as part of a more positive set of third quarter figures for Ifil.

The firm’s third quarter profit meant Ifil made a third quarter profit of €5.5m (£4.7m) for its stake in the firm but a loss of €26.8m (£23m) for the first nine months of the year

The Italian company, which also owns Juventus Football Club and car manufacturer Fiat Group, made a profit of €172.1m (£148m), a 48.3% increase on the same period last year.

Robert Rozek, CFO at Cushman & Wakefield told Property Week: ‘What we are seeing is our annual pattern of earnings at this time of the year. It is not too dissimilar to what we’ve seen in prior years but obviously given market conditions, profitability for this year won’t be the same as last year.’

‘When you look at our results this year we have incorporated depreciation and amortisation this time. We didn’t do this in the past. This makes our expense base higher and therefore comparisons are like comparing apples with oranges to an extent.’

Rozek said he expected the firm to be more profitable next year as the property market corrects itself. He said: ‘There are lots of variables in play as we look forward but I see us looking at a some recovery coming to the market mid to late 2009.’

Rozek said, unlike some of the firm’s ‘competitors’, Cushman & Wakefield had little debt. The firm owes a total of $240m (£161m) in a revolving credit facility which runs for a further four years.

He said: ‘We continue as a company to be [conservative] in terms of outstanding borrowings. This positions us better than some of our competitors.’