Knight Frank - which a year ago loudly announced a 14 per cent profits leap - has now reported an 11 per cent drop in pre-tax profits in the year to March, with Brexit and international political issues shouldering the blame.
Although a global partnership handling both residential and commercial property, Knight Frank still takes 60 per cent of its business from the UK so is highly exposed to domestic political instability.
“As we got closer to the original Brexit date at the end of March, the investment market began to close down, and [UK] markets have been constrained ever since … We think capital will come back into the markets [after a Brexit deal]. Investors want it out of the way” explains group chairman Alistair Elliott.
Profits for the group fell to £148.4m and turnover dipped two per cent to £517.4m from the previous year, which had been a record: the firm employs 19,000 people worldwide and its staff costs rose 1.4 per cent in the year to March, to £230.3m.