Colliers International had a record year in 2015, its first as an independent public company. Revenues were $1.7 billion up 9% (18% in local currency), EBITDA was $181 million up 24% (up 34% in local currency) and EPS was $2.29 per share, up 25% over the prior year. These are tremendous results by any measure.
With increased uncertainty in global markets as we enter 2016, we see an excellent opportunity for Colliers to take market share and capitalize on opportunities for our future. For more than 20 years, our management team has delivered greater than 20% annualized returns for shareholders. Given our record results in 2015 the momentum we are building so far this year and our strong financial position, Colliers has never been better positioned to create value for shareholders.
2015 was a transformational year. Let me touch on some of the highlights:
- It was our first year as a stand-alone public company.
- We generated record revenues and profits despite significant foreign currency headwinds that masked the excellent results we achieved in local markets. Foreign currency impacts our reported results more than our two largest publically traded competitors since only 36% of our revenues are generated in the US as compared to more than 50% for the others.
- For the first time in our history, EBITDA margins exceeded 10%. Four years ago we set out to achieve this target by the end of 2016. We are pleased to have achieved this goal one year earlier than expected.
- We established our new global strategic plan, called “Enterprise Plan 2020” to double the size of our company over the next five years while creating a real and tangible difference in our industry. Put simply, Colliers will continue to grow internally and through acquisitions while becoming the advisor of choice to many of the world’s most innovative and successful companies.
- During 2015, we completed a total of nine acquisitions, seven in the Americas and two in EMEA. In 2016, we have already completed another four; adding two in the Americas and two in EMEA. As one of the leaders in the commercial real estate services industry—an industry that generates more than $150 billion in revenues annually—Colliers International is in an excellent position to realize the benefits of consolidation for many years to come.
- Finally, we paid our inaugural dividend on our common shares.
Colliers International holds a leadership position in our industry; one of the few companies with a truly global platform. Our clients engage us because they value our expertise, trust our judgement and enjoy working with us. We believe clients are less focused on how much revenue a particular company generates, and more on how its services will solve their real estate needs or add value. What ultimately sets Colliers apart is not what we do, but how we do it. That’s the Colliers difference
At Colliers we have an enterprising culture. We are creative, nimble and entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurship is part of our heritage; the people who make it happen day-to-day own a large percentage of the equity in our company.
Being enterprising sets us apart from the rest. More importantly, this enterprising culture encourages our people to think differently, share great ideas and offer thoughtful and innovative advice that accelerates the success of our clients.
Colliers commitment to innovation is best reflected in our development and implementation of proprietary tools, technology and training – another Colliers difference. One example is Colliers 360
, a fully integrated and scalable analytics platform that builds on our deep experience in global outsourcing for the world’s leading corporations. It provides essential and actionable business intelligence for our clients’ corporate real estate needs. Office Expert
is another innovative tool used by Colliers professionals to help clients select and evaluate new locations using the most relevant data and objectively evaluate comparable and available options in real time. Finally, Colliers University
is another difference, and one that is centered on investing in our people. Established back in 2002, it offers our professionals a unique learning environment to grow their skills and enhance their careers. Today, Colliers University offers more than 1,000 programs and has accelerated the success of more than 6,000 Colliers professionals worldwide.
As one of the leading global brands in a large and consolidating industry, with an experienced management team and disciplined growth strategy, Colliers International is uniquely positioned to capitalize and deliver strong returns to our shareholders for many years to come.
I would like to thank all of our business leaders, partners and employees for their inspired and enterprising work over the past year. Together we continue to build a strong foundation, momentum and market leadership as we write the next chapter in the story of Colliers International.
Jay S. Hennick
Chairman & CEO