DTZ has cuts its dividend by 43%, as profits dropped in line with market expectations.

Full-year pretax profits before exceptional items fell from £38m in 2007 to £20.6m, in line with revised expectations following a profit warning from DTZ in March.

Excluding acquisitions, group revenue increased 15% to £356.4m. However, costs grew more rapidly, rising 25% to £348.6m.

Staff reductions

This was in spite of the fact that DTZ made a significant reduction in staffing levels.

The company said that after its acquisition of Donaldsons, staff numbers in the UK peaked at 2,409, but had since been reduced to 2,274 by the year end. Since then, it has also entered into consultation with a further 50 staff regarding redundancy.

Operating profit in the UK more than halved to £14.7m, and the in US, where DTZ owns stakes in agencies in America and Canada, its operating loss increased from £3.7 to £5.2m.

The Asia Pacific region showed strong growth, with operating profit increasing from £1.1m to £3m.

Gloomy outlook

DTZ was gloomy on the outlook for the global property market.

‘The major repricing that occurred on investment property in the UK first is generally spreading,’ chief executive Mark Struckett said. ‘In addition to reflecting the prospective weakening in some occupational markets, on which all investment value is ultimately based, the markets will also take note of the recent rise in long term rates driven by fears of inflation.

'This, combined with absence of debt availability, means that there could be further falls in capital value before the significant sources of equity that are available are encouraged to recommence purchasing.’

The results were in line with market expectations, and DTZ shares remained flat at 165p in early trading.

Yesterday, brokers downgraded profit forecasts for Savills after it produced a gloomy trading statement.

That saw Savills shares drop 13% and DTZ shares drop 10%.