CBRE GROUP, INC. REPORTS STRONG FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR
FULL-YEAR AND FOURTH-QUARTER 2017
2017 Full Year Highlights
GAAP EPS of $ 2.03, up 20%
Adjusted EPS of $ 2.71, up 18%
8th Consecutive Year of Double-Digit Adjusted EPS Growth
Revenue and Fee Revenue up 9% and 8%, respectively
Los Angeles, CA – February 8, 2018 — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today reported strong financial results for the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017.
“Our fourth-quarter results capped another excellent year for CBRE,” said Bob Sulentic, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “Fee revenue was up 9% in local currency and adjusted earnings per share rose 6%. Our performance significantly exceeded the expectations we discussed on our third quarter earnings call, and was led by occupier outsourcing and leasing fee revenue growth of 17% and 11% respectively, in local currency.”
“Revenue and earnings for 2017 reached all-time highs, and we made important strategic gains across the company,” he added. 2017 marked the 8th consecutive year of double-digit adjusted earnings per share growth for CBRE.
Looking ahead to 2018, Mr. Sulentic said: “We regard the macro environment as a supportive backdrop for our business, and we continue to operate within an industry poised for long-term growth. This is due to the growing acceptance of outsourced commercial real estate services, the increasing capital allocation to commercial real estate as an institutional asset class, and the continuing consolidation of activity within our industry to the highest-quality, globally diversified market leaders.”
For full year 2018, CBRE expects to achieve adjusted earnings per share in the range of $ 3.00 to $ 3.15. This represents an increase of 13% at the midpoint of the range with 8% attributable to EBITDA growth and 5% attributable to the combined net effect of a lower expected tax rate due to U.S. corporate tax reform, interest savings and higher depreciation & amortization.
Full-Year 2017 Results
• Revenue for full-year 2017 totaled $ 14.2 billion, an increase of 9% (same local currency1). Fee revenue2 increased 8% (same local currency) to $ 9.4 billion.
• On a GAAP basis, net income increased 21% and earnings per diluted share increased 20% to $ 691.5 million and $ 2.03 per share, respectively. Adjusted net income3 rose 19% to $ 924.5 million, while adjusted earnings per share3 improved 18% to $ 2.71 per share.
• Full-year 2017 adjustments to GAAP net income included a $ 143.4 million4, or $ 0.42 per share, net charge, attributable to the tax impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Act). This net charge is primarily comprised of a transition tax on accumulated foreign earnings, net of a tax benefit from the remeasurement of certain deferred tax assets and liabilities using the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. Absent the non-recurring impact of the tax law changes, GAAP earnings per diluted share would have risen 45% for full-year 2017. Adjustments also included $ 112.9 million (pre-tax) of non-cash acquisition-related amortization and $ 27.4 million (pre-tax) of integration and other costs related to acquisitions. These costs were partially offset by $ 8.5 million (pre-tax) reversal of net carried interest incentive compensation and a net tax benefit of $ 42.1 million associated with the aforementioned pre-tax adjustments.
• EBITDA5 increased 23% (same local currency) to $ 1.7 billion and adjusted EBITDA5 increased 10% (9% local currency) to $ 1.7 billion. Adjusted EBITDA margin on fee revenue increased 32 basis points to 18.2%.
Fourth-Quarter 2017 Results
• Revenue for the fourth quarter totaled $ 4.3 billion, an increase of 13% (11% local currency). Fee revenue increased 11% (9% local currency) to $ 3.0 billion.
• On a GAAP basis, net income decreased 36% and earnings per diluted share decreased 37% to $ 168.4 million and $ 0.49 per share, respectively. The declines in net income and earnings per diluted share were primarily attributable to the aforementioned impact of the Tax Act. Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 rose 7% to $ 337.9 million, while adjusted earnings per share improved 6% to $ 0.99 per share.
• The adjustments to GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 included a $ 143.4 million, or $ 0.42 per share, net charge attributable to the aforementioned impacts of The Tax Act. Absent the non-recurring impact of the tax law changes, GAAP earnings per diluted share would have risen 17% for the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjustments also included $ 30.4 million (pre-tax) of non-cash acquisition-related amortization and $ 4.4 million (pre-tax) of net carried interest incentive compensation expense. These costs were partially offset by a net tax benefit of $ 8.7 million associated with the aforementioned pre-tax adjustments.
• EBITDA increased 10% (8% local currency) to $ 577.8 million and adjusted EBITDA increased 2% (1% local currency) to $ 582.2 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin on fee revenue decreased 170 basis points to 19.7%. The fourth quarter of 2016 represents a difficult comparison; note that the adjusted EBITDA margins on fee revenue for the fourth quarters of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 were 17.2%, 16.3%, 19.9%, and 18.7%, respectively, in our regional services businesses. The fourth quarter of 2017 was also negatively impacted by the decline in adjusted EBITDA from Development Services.
Excluding the impact of all currency movement including hedging activity, adjusted EBITDA growth rates for the fourth quarter of 2017 were: 5% in the Americas, -1% in EMEA, -4% in APAC and 46% in Global Investment Management.
CBRE produced solid revenue growth in all three of its global regions in the fourth quarter of 2017.
• APAC saw a 13% (11% local currency) revenue increase, supported by solid growth across the region, most notably in Australia, India, Japan and Singapore.
• In the Americas, revenue increased 11% (12% local currency), with strong growth in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
• EMEA revenue rose 17% (9% local currency), driven by Spain and the United Kingdom.
Revenue growth across CBRE’s global business lines was largely organic.
• Global occupier outsourcing achieved growth of 19% (17% local currency) in revenue and 20% (17% local currency) in fee revenue. Acquisitions contributed 1% to the revenue growth rate and 2% to the fee revenue growth rate in the quarter.
o Growth was broad-based across the three global regions, led by India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
• Leasing revenue rose by double digits, increasing 13% (11% local currency).
o APAC produced 17% (same local currency) leasing revenue growth, paced by Australia, Greater China and Japan.
o Americas leasing revenue rose 12% (same local currency), with strong performance in Brazil, Canada and the United States.
o EMEA leasing revenue rose 12% (3% local currency), led by France.
• Revenue edged up 1% (down 1% local currency) for the capital markets businesses – property sales and commercial mortgage origination – on a combined basis.
• Among the capital markets businesses, global property sales revenue was flat (down 2% local currency), consistent with the decline in market volumes globally.
o EMEA remained robust with sales revenue up 29% (20% local currency). Several countries drove this outcome, including Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
o APAC sales revenue fell 7% (down 8% local currency) compared with a very strong fourth quarter of 2016, when sales surged 42% (35% in local currency).
o Americas sales revenue declined 8% (same local currency), as strong gains in Canada and Mexico were offset by lower activity in the United States, which saw revenue decrease in line with the decline in market volumes.
o For the full year, CBRE’s U.S. investment sales market share rose 80 basis points to 17.0%, almost double the nearest competitor, according to Real Capital Analytics.
• The other capital markets business, commercial mortgage origination, saw revenue increase 5% (same local currency). This is on top of the 36% growth achieved in the fourth quarter of 2016. Loan volume growth remained healthy, particularly with conduit lenders due to higher CMBS activity.
• Recurring revenue from CBRE’s growing loan servicing portfolio increased 31% (30% local currency). At the end of the fourth quarter, the loan servicing portfolio totaled approximately $ 174 billion, up 20% from year-end 2016.
• Property management services produced growth of 14% (12% local currency) for revenue and 16% (14% local currency) for fee revenue. Growth was strong worldwide, most notably in APAC.
• Valuation revenue rose 3% (flat local currency).
• CBRE’s Global Investment Management business produced adjusted EBITDA growth of 44% (36% local currency) in the fourth quarter.
o In the Global Investment Management segment, assets under management (AUM) totaled $ 103.2 billion, up $ 4.9 billion from the third quarter of 2017. Favorable currency movement added approximately $ 600 million to AUM during the quarter.
• As expected, adjusted EBITDA in the Development Services business declined 28% (same local currency) from the year-earlier fourth quarter due to the timing of asset sales, which were significantly higher in the fourth quarter of 2016.
o In the Development Services segment, projects in process totaled $ 6.8 billion at year-end 2017, up almost $ 1.0 billion from the third quarter of 2017. The pipeline decreased $ 1.6 billion during the quarter, reflecting a higher-than-normal conversion of pipeline deals to in process activity.
CBRE also announced plans to call its $ 800 million of 5% bonds due in 2023 in March 2018, which will be funded with cash on hand and borrowings under its credit facility.
Conference Call Details
The company’s fourth quarter earnings conference call will be held today (Thursday, February 8, 2018) at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. A webcast, along with an associated slide presentation, will be accessible through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at www.cbre.com/investorrelations.
The direct dial-in number for the conference call is 877-407-8037 for U.S. callers and 201-689-8037 for international callers. A replay of the call will be available starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 8, 2018, and ending at midnight Eastern Time on February 15, 2018. The dial-in number for the replay is 877 660 6853 for U.S. callers and 201-612-7415 for international callers. The access code for the replay is 13675166. A transcript of the call will be available on the company’s Investor Relations website at www.cbre.com/investorrelations.
About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2017 revenue). The company has more than 80,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.
The information contained in, or accessible through, the company’s website is not incorporated into this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our future growth momentum, operations, financial performance (including adjusted earnings per share), currency movement, market share, and business outlook. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company’s actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested in forward-looking statements in this press release. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, the company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. If the company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: disruptions in general economic and business conditions, particularly in geographies where our business may be concentrated; volatility and disruption of the securities, capital and credit markets, interest rate increases, the cost and availability of capital for investment in real estate, clients’ willingness to make real estate or long-term contractual commitments and other factors affecting the value of real estate assets, inside and outside the United States; increases in unemployment and general slowdowns in commercial activity; trends in pricing and risk assumption for commercial real estate services; the effect of significant movements in average cap rates across different property types; a reduction by companies in their reliance on outsourcing for their commercial real estate needs, which would affect our revenues and operating performance; client actions to restrain project spending and reduce outsourced staffing levels; declines in lending activity of U.S. Government Sponsored Enterprises, regulatory oversight of such activity and our mortgage servicing revenue from the commercial real estate mortgage market; our ability to diversify our revenue model to offset cyclical economic trends in the commercial real estate industry; our ability to attract new user and investor clients; our ability to retain major clients and renew related contracts; our ability to leverage our global services platform to maximize and sustain long-term cash flow; our ability to maintain EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margins that enable us to continue investing in our platform and client service offerings; our ability to control costs relative to revenue growth; economic volatility and market uncertainty globally related to uncertainty surrounding the implementation and effect of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union, including uncertainty in relation to the legal and regulatory framework that would apply to the United Kingdom and its relationship with the remaining members of the European Union; foreign currency fluctuations; our ability to retain and incentivize key personnel; our ability to compete globally, or in specific geographic markets or business segments that are material to us; our ability to identify, acquire and integrate synergistic and accretive businesses; costs and potential future capital requirements relating to businesses we may acquire; integration challenges arising out of companies we may acquire; the ability of our Global Investment Management business to maintain and grow assets under management and achieve desired investment returns for our investors, and any potential related litigation, liabilities or reputational harm possible if we fail to do so; our ability to manage fluctuations in net earnings and cash flow, which could result from poor performance in our investment programs, including our participation as a principal in real estate investments; our leverage under our debt instruments as well as the limited restrictions therein on our ability to incur additional debt, and the potential increased borrowing costs to us from a credit-ratings downgrade; the ability of our wholly-owned subsidiary, CBRE Capital Markets, Inc., to periodically amend, or replace, on satisfactory terms, the agreements for its warehouse lines of credit; variations in historically customary seasonal patterns that cause our business not to perform as expected; litigation and its financial and reputational risks to us; our exposure to liabilities in connection with real estate advisory and property management activities and our ability to procure sufficient insurance coverage on acceptable terms; liabilities under guarantees, or for construction defects, that we incur in our Development Services business; our and our employees’ ability to execute on, and adapt to, information technology strategies and trends; changes in domestic and international law and regulatory environments (including relating to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, currency controls and other trade control laws), particularly in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, due to the level of political instability in those regions; our ability to comply with laws and regulations related to our global operations, including real estate licensure, tax, labor and employment laws and regulations, as well as the anti-corruption laws and trade sanctions of the U.S. and other countries; our ability to maintain our effective tax rate at or below current levels; changes in applicable tax or accounting requirements, including the impact of any subsequent additional regulation and guidance associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017; and the effect of implementation of new accounting rules and standards.
Additional information concerning factors that may influence the company’s financial information is discussed under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” and “Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2017, June 30, 2017 and September 30, 2017, as well as in the company’s press releases and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Such filings are available publicly and may be obtained on the company’s website at www.cbre.com or upon written request from CBRE’s Investor Relations Department at investorrelations%m%cbre%d%com.
Note – CBRE has not reconciled the (non-GAAP) adjusted earnings per share forward-looking guidance included in this press release to the most directly comparable GAAP measure because this cannot be done without unreasonable effort due to the variability and low visibility with respect to costs related to acquisitions, carried interest incentive compensation and financing costs, which are potential adjustments to future earnings. We expect the variability of these items to have a potentially unpredictable, and a potentially significant, impact on our future GAAP financial results.
The terms “fee revenue,” “adjusted net income,” “adjusted earnings per share” (or adjusted EPS), “EBITDA” and “adjusted EBITDA,” all of which CBRE uses in this press release, are non-GAAP financial measures under SEC guidelines, and you should refer to the footnotes below as well as the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section in this press release for a further explanation of these measures. We have also included in that section reconciliations of these measures in specific periods to their most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP for those periods.
1 Local currency percentage change is calculated by comparing current-period results at prior-period exchange rates versus prior-period results.
2 Fee revenue is gross revenue less both client reimbursed costs largely associated with employees that are dedicated to client facilities and subcontracted vendor work performed for clients. Certain adjustments have been made to 2016 fee revenue to conform with current-year presentation.
3 Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share (or adjusted EPS) exclude the effect of select charges from GAAP net income and GAAP earnings per diluted share as well as adjust the provision for income taxes for such charges. Adjustments during the periods presented included non-cash amortization expense related to certain intangible assets attributable to acquisitions, integration and other costs related to acquisitions, cost-elimination expenses and certain carried interest incentive compensation expense (reversal) to align with the timing of associated revenue. Adjustments also included the tax impact of U.S. tax reform.
4 In December 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (SAB 118), Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Act), which allows us to record provisional amounts during a measurement period not to extend beyond one year of the enactment date. The net charge related to the Tax Act is based upon our reasonable estimates and interpretation of the Tax Act. We consider certain aspects of this charge to be provisional and the impact may change due to additional guidance that may be issued by the U.S. Government as well as ongoing analysis of our data and assumptions we have made. Our accounting for the effects of the Tax Act is expected to be completed within the measurement period provided by SAB 118.
5 EBITDA represents earnings before net interest expense, write-off of financing costs on extinguished debt, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. Amounts shown for adjusted EBITDA further remove (from EBITDA) the impact of certain
carried interest incentive compensation expense (reversal) to align with the timing of associated revenue, cash and non-cash charges related to acquisitions and certain cost-elimination expenses.
6 Revenue in the Development Services segment does not include equity income from unconsolidated subsidiaries and gain on disposition of real estate, net of non-controlling interest. EBITDA includes equity income from unconsolidated subsidiaries and gain on disposition of real estate, net of non-controlling interests, and the associated compensation expense.