Colliers International reported strong results in the first quarter of 2021 — a rebound that company executives attributed, in part, to the firm’s strategy of acquiring companies that will diversify its portfolio.
Last summer, the brokerage acquired Dougherty, whose subsidiaries provide loan servicing and mortgage lending, and Maser Consulting, an engineering and design consulting firm.
Those new streams of revenue helped boost the company’s first quarter results: Its revenue was $775 million, up 23 percent compared to the same period last year. Net earnings during the first quarter came in at $24.8 million, or about 3.8 times more than the first quarter of 2020.
Based on those results, Colliers’ updated its 2021 financial outlook: It now predicts a 15 percent to 30 percent increase in revenue and earnings, up from 10 percent to 25 percent previously.
During the company’s Tuesday earnings call, CEO Jay Hennick said the company has become “more balanced and resilient,” thanks to “strength in recurring services, stabilizing transactional revenues, and a highly diversified business model.”
Revenue from Colliers’ outsourcing and advisory business hit $340 million, up nearly 50 percent from the same time last year. That accounted for about 44 percent of the firm’s revenue in the first quarter.
And the firm’s brokerage business, which was hit hard by the pandemic, has stabilized, according to Hennick. The capital markets division generated $210.5 million in revenue in the first quarter, up 47.2 percent compared to a year ago. The leasing division was aided by the strong performance in the industrial sector.
But when asked by an analyst about office leasing, Hennick was cautious, saying that there is a “lot of uncertainty” in the market, with tenants looking to secure cheaper renewals, or not taking any action.
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens to leasing for us in the second quarter,” he said. “But as you can see, in the first quarter, it’s still relatively flat, or it’s up but it’s not where it should be.”