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Colliers prepares for growth despite COVID-19 challenges

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Denmark’s largest commercial property consultant was hit mainly by travel restrictions last year. Nevertheless, Colliers invested in both employees and new systems in 2020. The objective is to double revenues by 2025.

In its annual report 2020, Colliers posts a gross profit decline in the order of DKK 25 million, equivalent to 14% for the company, which since its merger with Sadolin & Albæk in 2018 has been Denmark’s largest commercial property consultant in terms of both turnover and transactions.

However, the decline reflects a year marked by travel restrictions in particular, along with investments in new employees and systems. So says CEO Peter Winther, who therefore believes the result to match the property industry in general and to be as expected, all things considered.

“Broadly speaking, high-volume transactions, Capital Markets, account for a large share of our business. In this specific segment, foreign investors have been unable to travel into Denmark to inspect investment property in most of 2020. Even so, our business volume in Q1 2021 was up by 50% relative to Q1 2020. We have a strong pipeline and expect fair earnings growth in 2021.”

Peter Winther, CEO

Upgrading systems and workplace skills 
Despite market challenges, Colliers has continued to pursue its strategy of upgrading workplace skills and systems. As a result, the company has incurred additional costs, which are to enable a doubling of the top line already by 2025 in terms of substantial EBITDA growth, explains Peter Winther.

“We are generally in the process of professionalising our business, our systems and the ways we service our clients. Colliers’ overriding strategy is to lay the foundations for future growth, that is, a single, strong digital platform, streamlined operations and increased focus on Capital Markets. Neither last year nor this year, the objective was therefore to grow the bottom line but rather to expand our platform to better support future growth.”

In Q1 2021 alone, Colliers has hired 15 new employees across its five Danish offices.

In addition, Colliers is working on an innovative and more structured client approach, mainly by the Capital Markets team. At the same time, the commercial property consultant hopes to recruit new talent and shape them internally by means of Colliers Academy, international graduate and exchange programmes via Colliers’ global business with 15,000 professionals. 

New business areas foster growth
Whereas Capital Markets saw lower revenues in 2020, the aggregate decline is alleviated by strong developments in bottom lines as well as earnings in multiple segments and regions, for instance, Vejle, Odense and the letting market along with the mid-market segment of the Copenhagen and Aarhus investment property markets, combined raising the top line by DKK 20 million relative to 2019. 

“We want to remain Denmark’s largest and best commercial and investment property advisor. We want to be a one-stop shop, and therefore we have to cover all segments,” concludes Peter Winther.

Gain more insight
In Copenhagen Property Market Report 2021, you can learn more about developments in the most important segments in the commercial real estate market throughout Denmark. You can download the report here.

 

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Jakob Hagen Schmidt

Manager, Marketing & Communications

Copenhagen

Jakob is responsible for Colliers’ communication strategy across all media and platforms. He initiates and implements strategies to maintain Colliers’ position as a market leader and differentiate Colliers through comprehensive market insight. Contact Jakob for enquires related to public relations, public affairs, Colliers.dk, newsletters and social media.

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