JLL predicts coronavirus’ impact to extend past 2020

The brokerage’s NOI fell to $5.3M in Q1 from $21.3M a year ago

JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich (Ulbrich by JP Yim/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York)
JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich (Ulbrich by JP Yim/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York)

As the coronavirus crisis cripples property sales and leasing, JLL’s latest financials may offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for the first-quarter earnings season.

The commercial brokerage reported a net operating income of $5.3 million during the first three months of 2020, compared to $21.3 million a year ago, Crain’s reported. JLL said global leasing fell 22 percent year over year, and investment in commercial real estate slipped 5 percent.

CEO Christian Ulbrich said on the company’s Tuesday earnings call that the global health crisis will have “significant repercussions” on the economy and real estate that “will go beyond this year.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

JLL’s Asia-Pacific region was hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic during the first quarter, with revenue falling by 2 percent year over year. Its business in the Americas — which wasn’t shaken by the pandemic until mid-March — saw a 13 percent uptick in revenue.
Overall, the company reported roughly $4.1 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 9 percent from a year ago.

The global brokerage came into 2020 following two strong quarters, which were driven in part by the company’s acquisition of HFF in mid-2019. The revenue growth helped propel JLL’s stock price to a near record-high above $170 per share in January.

Ulbrich said it would take some time for leasing activity to return to normal levels as buyers and sellers “find a new kind of match on price expectations.” [Crain’s] — Dennis Lynch