Savills has said its profits for this year will be ‘significantly below’ analysts’ forecasts in a trading update this morning.

It also said it would review its dividend policy in light of the full year results for 2008, which are due to be released 11 March next year.

Shares fell to 216p, down 13%, in early morning trading on the back of the update.

The statement said: ‘December is an important trading month and billing is still taking place.

‘However, we now expect our underlying profit before tax for 2008 to be significantly below the current range of analyst forecasts.

‘In these challenging markets, our robust balance sheet and committed bank facilities until 2011 are a major strength. The Board will consider its dividend policy in light of the full year result for 2008 and trading in the early part of 2009.’

The statement said that while the UK residential and commercial business, and the Asian business, were trading ‘as expected’, the European, US and mortgage broking businesses, which are heavily dependent on transactions, have seen serious falls in activity.

‘A return to higher levels of transactional activity will depend on how quickly confidence returns to financial markets. The steps that we continue to take to reduce costs and our successful strategy of reducing dependence on transactional income will continue to serve us well in these uncertain times,’ the statement said.

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