Savills sought to reassure investors that it could weather the challenges of the coming year as it reported a rise in annual profits and lifted its staff bonus payment 20%. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph

Savills said the outlook for its UK and US commercial capital markets businesses and UK residential and mortgage broking businesses depended on how quickly confidence returned to financial markets.

But transaction businesses in Europe and Asia continued to be 'more resilient', with demand for consulting, property management and fund management services strong in all markets.

In the UK, commercial investment transactions slowed in the second half following the credit squeeze, while in residential, prime markets held up well but showed some signs of slowing towards the end of the year. Consultancy produced a “strong performance”.

In London, the number of deals signed for office space in the City in the first two months of the year was up on last year, but in the West End, business was slower.

In Europe, investment markets remained firm. In Asia-Pacific growth in revenue was strong, with a 'significant' increase in profitability largely attributable to organic growth in key markets.

Aubrey Adams, outgoing chief executive, said: 'The markets are challenging in the residential and commercial markets in the UK but we’ve got revenues coming in from across the globe.'