Commercial property services company CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) has reported strong earnings and revenue growth in the first quarter of this year, boosted by an improved credit market and a rebound in commercial property sales and leasing.

The firm posted a 16 percent increase in revenue to US$1.2 billion in the first quarter, while net income on a US GAAP based improved sharply to US$34.4 million, compared with a net loss of US$6.6 million over the same period last year.

“Our results for the quarter reflect a very nice start for the year, with earnings per share and normalised EBITDA showing exceptional growth. This is particularly significant, because the first quarter typically sets the tone for the rest of the year and historically, is our seasonally weakest quarter,” said Mr. Brett White, Chief Executive of CBRE.

Mr. White said this year’s strong quarter comes against a backdrop of steadily improving global market fundamentals. “The well-balanced, broadly diversified services platform we have built — across business lines and geographies — has positioned us well to serve clients and grow our business base during the current rebound. Looking ahead, general market trends remain favourable with rising transaction activity and improving fundamentals across most of the world.”

Global property sales also grew robustly, with sales revenue increasing 34 percent, as capital flows continued to improve and credit standards returned to historically normal levels.

In the Asia Pacific region, revenue rose 19 percent to US$160.5 million, compared with US$134.4 million over the same period last year. Operating income climbed 83 percent to US$11.3 million, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 51 percent to US$12.4 million, compared with US$8.3 million last year.

Rob Blain, Chairman and CEO of CBRE Asia Pacific, said the “growth was underpinned by increased transactional activity, following greater capital availability, and improved market conditions across the region.”

“China, Singapore and Japan were the strongest performing markets for our business in the region. The natural disaster and its aftermath in Japan did not materially affect our performance there during the quarter.”