MARKET REPORT: Savills shares are hot property as profits soar


MARKET REPORT: Savills shares are hot property as estate agent hikes dividend profits double to £200.3m

Savills saw full-year profits hit record levels as it cashed in on the UK’s booming property market.

The estate agent’s profits more than doubled to £200.3million in 2021, while revenues surged 23 per cent to a record £2.15billion.

Savills’ total dividend for the year was also hiked to 61.4p per share from 17p in 2020.

Bumper results: Savills’s profits more than doubled to £200.3m in 2021, while revenues surged 23% to a record £2.15bn

Double-digit revenue growth was seen across the group’s transaction advisory business, with strong performances highlighted in the UK Asia-Pacific regions as the global property sector bounced back from the pandemic.

The firm’s business handling prime UK residential property also notched up an ‘extremely strong’ showing during the year as wealthy buyers sought out spacious properties following lockdown. 

Ongoing restrictions had also allowed the group to cut costs on items such as travel, events entertainment, boosting its profit margins.

Meanwhile, boss Mark Ridley said the company was providing support for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine both through charities its business in Poland.

The chief executive also warned that it was ‘too early’ to predict the impact of the war on global property markets, although the company expected transaction numbers spending to ‘normalise’ in the year ahead as countries continued to emerge from pandemic-related disruption.

Despite the unclear outlook, the bumper results sent the shares up 3.8 per cent, or 43p, to 1183p.

Analysts at broker Peel Hunt said the numbers were ‘even better’ than expected, while fellow broker Numis upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘add’, saying the figures had justified the company’s decision to invest during the pandemic. 

Stock Watch – James Fisher & Sons 

James Fisher & Sons tumbled after profits plunged by over a third.

Pre-tax profits for 2021 were down nearly 38 per cent at £19.7million following a ‘challenging disappointing year’ that saw the marine engineer’s business disrupted by the pandemic. 

Revenues fell by 4.7 per cent to £494.1million. 

It blamed a slower than expected recovery in its markets as well as an underestimation of headwinds facing some of its businesses.

Shares fell 25.8 per cent, or 128.5p, to 370.5p.

 

The FTSE 100 dropped 1.3 per cent, or 91.63 points, to 7099.09 while the FTSE 250 was down 0.6 per cent, or 113.65 points, at 19955.55.

Wild swings in oil prices knocked investors off balance amid ongoing worries about the impact on the global economy inflation as Russian sanctions began to bite.

‘From a Western perspective, the war in Russia is very much an economic one the full ramifications may not be known for quite some time,’ said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

Brent crude dropped by nearly 20 per cent early yesterday morning after an ambassador for the United Arab Emirates signalled that it may encourage other oil-producing nations to increase production to plug the gap left by bans on Russian oil imports.

However, prices partially recovered later in the day after the petro-state’s energy minister refuted the claim.

Shell shares dropped 2.4 per cent, or 48.7p, to 1955.8p as crude costs dropped while BP lost 2.7 per cent, or 10.15p, to 369.85p. Rio Tinto fell 1.8 per cent, or 104p, to 5783p after it became the latest group to sever its ties with Russia.

The mining giant has now started a process of ‘terminating all commercial relationships’ with Russian firms is reviewing a joint venture with aluminium giant Rusal, founded by oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Outsourcing giant Capita hailed the completion of its efforts to transform the business after reporting revenue growth for the first time in six years. 

The FTSE 250 firm reported a 0.4 per cent increase in revenue to £3billion in 2021, while its profits soared to £93.5million from £5.4million the previous year.

Its performance was boosted by new contracts, the value of which jumped by 31 per cent year-on-year to £3.8billion. The shares dropped 7.1 per cent, or 1.56p, to 20.31p.

Troubled meal delivery group Parsley Box gained 16.7 per cent, or 3p, to 21p after unveiling plans to raise £7million through an offering of shares at 20p each, an 11pc premium to its previous closing price.

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Record gas prices how they could ‘fuel the fire’ for a bicycle boom in Halifax


The ever-changing price of gas could prompt some Haligonians to turn to cycling as a more reliable, affordable means of transportation, experts say.

Although the price at the pumps may not stay high for long, the massive hikes seen in recent days show how volatile the cost of fuel can be, bicycle shops across the city are gearing up for an active season.

Andrew Feenstra, the owner of Cyclesmith on Agricola Street in Halifax, says it’s still early in the season he hasn’t seen much of an influx in customers yet, but he expects things to get “very busy” in the spring.

Read more:

Gas prices reach new high in N.S., costs skyrocket in Atlantic Canada

“Based on gas prices, that will kind of fuel the fire,” he said.

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“As the gas price goes up people start to think about it a little bit more, I think we’re going to see a big increase.”


Gas prices in Halifax hit a record 186.2 cents a litre this week.


Alex Cooke/Global News

He said with both March break the summer months coming up, more people are bound to start showing interest in cycling.

“Cycling is a fantastic way to leave your car parked in the driveway commute to work, or get groceries, or get kids from school,” he said.

“Whatever you’re using your car for right now, you can probably replace it with a bike every once in a while.”

Read more:

N.S. premier says ‘everything is on the table’ as gas prices surge

It’s a similar story for Jenna Molenaar, owner of Halifax Cycles & Guitars, who said there’s “definitely been a lot of conversation” around buying a bike amid soaring gas prices.

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She said she recently shared a post on the topic to the business’ Facebook page, which prompted come customers to pay a visit to the store on Kempt Road.

Molenaar said people are interested in all kinds of bicycles, but electric bikes in particular are very popular. While the store is running low on some bicycle models, she said the store still has a “great selection.”

As gas prices remain volatile, Molenaar said now is a great time to get a bicycle.

“It saves so much money,” she said. “I saved up for my down payment on my house by the time I was 32 years old because I chose to travel by bike not own a car.”

Across the harbour at The Bike Pedaler in downtown Dartmouth, manager Sean Therien said they’re about as busy as they would normally be this time of year, but he expects it to pick up again in the next month or so.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve seen a spike in business because of the gas prices. That sort of thing will probably come in a month from now, when people are really starting to lose their minds,” he said.


The Bike Pedaler manager Sean Therien says he’s anticipating a busy spring.


Alex Cooke/Global News

He said spring sales are starting to come in the shop has had a busy week, but once the weather starts getting nicer the amount of customers coming in “quadruples.”

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That’s when he expects most bicycle shops to go “full gas” with repairs sales – “no pun intended.”

Therien said his store doesn’t sell electric bikes, but gravel bikes are quite popular due to their multi-purpose uses.

“In our region we have so many wonderful trails to ride on,” he said. “Gravel bikes are great for that.”

Cycling ‘drastically’ more affordable

Anika Riopel, the sustainable transportation policy co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre, said the pandemic had already resulted in more people walking cycling more.

While that influx was more related to health wellness, she said she expects to see more people turning to cycling due to the cost.

“The price of gas going up is certainly going to be an incentive,” she said.

“(Cycling) is certainly a drastically more affordable means of transportation … Your main source of fuel is yourself, so it certainly is less prone to market fluctuations.”

Anika Riopel is the sustainable transportation policy co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre.


Anika Riopel is the sustainable transportation policy co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre.


Submitted by Anika Riopel

While riding a bike does have a start-up cost of actually purchasing the bike, then the costs of maintaining it, they pale in comparison to the costs associated with owning a car – especially since the price of gas oil can change a lot in a short amount of time, as has been recently shown in Nova Scotia across the world.

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Riopel noted there’s also a rebate program for electric bicycles, which have been growing in popularity as a way to get around without a car, while dealing with the “wicked” hills for which Halifax is known.

“They’re so much fun to ride,” she said. “Literally, you can ride up Citadel Hill it feels like you’re on a boardwalk. It’s just glorious.”

Read more:

Halifax cycling advocates decry police using bicycles as weapons

Still, there can be barriers to cycling. Some people may feel unsafe due to a lack of cycling infrastructure like protected bike lanes, Riopel said there needs to be a greater focus on planning infrastructure.

“People might be in a place where they want to make this change, but there’s still some things they need, whether that’s infrastructure or access to a bike, or the educational components,” she said.

Riopel is encouraged by initiatives like Halifax’s integrated mobility plan, which aims to improve active transportation in the city. She also said that, as outlined in the Environmental Goals Climate Change Reduction Act, the province has a goal to have a strategy to increase active transportation options by 2023, infrastructure completed by 2030.


Click to play video: 'Advocates concerned about Almon Street Bikeway plan'







Advocates concerned about Almon Street Bikeway plan


Advocates concerned about Almon Street Bikeway plan – Jan 24, 2022

The Ecology Action Centre is launching a web app this week which shows maps of both existing proposed active transportation plans across the province, so people can know what’s happening in terms of active transportation in their communities.

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“I would very much encourage people to start building biking into their life,” said Riopel.

‘A great thing you can do for yourself’

In the meantime, bicycle shops across Halifax continue to prepare for what’s bound to be a bustling spring.

Paul Rogers, who owns Long Alley Bicycles on Quinpool Road, said he expects the season to be a “madhouse” with many people clamoring for bikes.

“With the gas prices, people are going to want bikes,” he said.

He said his biggest challenge is supply issues, he hasn’t been able to get any electric bicycles in stock.

Rogers said outdoor activities have grown in popularity during the pandemic, though he said there’s “never a bad time” to opt for a bike ride instead of a drive.

“I might be a little biased, but I also think it’s a great thing you can do for yourself,” he said.

“And you can save a few dollars – or more than a few, these days.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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How much a house costs in Delhi-NCR


A house is probably the biggest spend for most Indians. And with urban population increasing manifold, buying a house in a large city, which is where most jobs are likely to be, has become difficult—the main obstacle being cost. Determining a property’s value is difficult. Our compilation of property prices of prominent localities in major cities surrounding areas across India may help you compare make an informed decision. Here are the prices of some properties across five bands.

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Term insurance is targeted at 10 times your annual income


I am a 31-year-old school teacher, unmarried earn 53,890 per month. I deposit 36,500 per annum in general provident fund (GPF) public provident fund (PPF). I have started investing 10,000 per month in UTI nifty index fund direct plan growth option. I aim to retire in 2050. Am I on the right track? 

Besides, I am paying a home loan EMI of 15,089 per month a personal loan EMI of 15,064 per month. I have a Jeevan labh LIC policy with a quarterly premium of 11,822. I have an SBI LIFE-Smart wealth builder policy with an annual premium of 40,000 an SBI LIFE-smart shield policy with an annual premium of 3,899. 

Meanwhile, Aegon has rejected my 1 crore online term policy on the grounds that my income is not eligible to get a 1 crore cover. How do I solve this problem? Also, I am going to get married this year. What investment strategy should i adopt to meet my marriage expenses, future  childbirth expenses, education of children? 

                                  — Laltu Panja

 

Your annual savings in general provident fund (GPF), public provident fund (PPF), monthly investment in the mutual fund is 1.56 lakh. This, if saved for 29 years till your retirement in 2050, will help you accumulate 45 lakh. And at an average earnings rate of 9% (a large part of this portfolio is in fixed income), the portfolio value will become 2.2 crore. You are on the right track, but you need to increase your savings on a regular basis as your income increases. 

At the same time, you should plan to repay the personal loan earlier as it comes at a very high borrowing cost. 

Term insurance is typically a factor of annual income is targeted at 10 times your annual income. This could be the reason why it is being denied as you are applying for something more than 15 times your annual income. At the same time, you should go for term insurance when you have dependents. What is more important for you is having health insurance in case you are not already covered. 

Further, to provide for your short-term expenses, you may consider saving in bank recurring deposits, ultra-short-term debt funds to take care of the said expenses. 

Surya Bhatia is managing partner of Asset Managers.

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Failure to pay advance tax attracts interest under section 234c of IT Act


Advance tax is payable by every person whose net tax liability for the financial year is 10,000 or more. This includes every person, be it salaried individual, professional, business owner, firm, company, etc. However, a resident senior citizen (i.e., an individual of the age of 60 years or above during the relevant financial year) not having any income from business or profession is not liable to pay advance tax.

Income for the year the tax liability thereon is estimated then a specified percentage of the tax liability is paid at every due date during the year.

In case of default in payment of advance tax on the due date interest shall be levied u/s 234B 234C, as applicable. Interest u/s 234B is payable when advance tax paid is less than 90% of the tax due. Interest u/s 234C is payable for late payment of advance tax.

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For salaried individuals whose tax is deducted at source, there is no need for advance tax payment unless they have some other sources of income such as capital gains, interest income, rental income, etc.

For example, Kavita earns income from salary of 8 lakh her employer has deducted the necessary TDS (tax deducted at source). She sells shares worth 5 lakh on 30 June 2021 earns short-term capital gains of 2.5 lakh.

Once, the capital gain arose, it should be considered for the payment of advance tax on or before the next due date i.e., in this case, advance tax on capital gains should be paid for 15 September, 15 December, 15 March due dates.

Kavita’s tax liability on short-term capital gains of 2.5 lakh is 39,000 (@15% plus cess). If Kavita has not paid any advance tax until now, she can pay the total tax due of 39,000 on or before 31 March avoid the interest u/s 234B.

However, interest u/s 234C for late payment of advance tax shall still be payable as she has delayed in payment of advance tax.

The net tax liability after considering all deductions, exemptions under the Income Tax Act, credits to the extent of TDS, tax collected at source (TCS), minimum alternate tax (MAT) utilization are to be considered for determination of advance tax liability.

For instance, Anita’s income from professional services is 12 lakh. She has paid an insurance premium of 1.5 lakh. TDS of 50,000 has been deducted.

Anita’s total tax liability after considering deduction u/s 80C for insurance premium is 1,32,600 of which 50,000 TDS has been deducted. Accordingly, Anita’s net tax liability remains to the tune of 82,600 she should pay advance tax at the specified percentage on the respective due dates.

Now, for instance, Akash earns income from a salary of 12 lakh his employer has deducted the necessary TDS. Akash earns interest on fixed deposits 25,000. Tax on interest income @ 30% plus cess is 7,800. Akash believes that he need not pay advance tax on interest income as the net tax liability is less than 10,000. In this case, Akash’s belief is correct.

Now, for instance, Samrat is a non-resident Indian earning rental income of 15 lakhs from house property in India. Hence, his tax liability for FY 2021-22 is estimated at 1,32,600. Samrat attained the age of 60 years on 31 December 2021. He believes that he is not liable to pay advance tax as he is a senior citizen does not have any income from business or profession. This belief of Samrat is not correct as he is a non-resident Indian so he will not be exempted from payment of advance tax. This benefit is only available to a resident senior citizen not having income from business or profession.

As we near the end of this financial year, if you have earned any long term / short term capital gains want to save tax on the same, you can consider booking capital losses that may be arising due to the current market situation to be set off against the existing capital gains.

Accordingly, there will be no tax liability on capital gains no question of advance tax liability. It is pertinent to note that long-term capital loss can be set off against long-term capital gains only. Short-term capital loss may be set off against long-term/ short-term capital gains.

Nitesh Buddhadev is founder at Nimit Consultancy.

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