Jones Lang Lasalle's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

January 31, 2012 6:00 pm ET

Executives

Colin Dyer - Global Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman of Global Executive Committee and Director

Lauralee E. Martin - Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Director, Chairman of Global Operating Committee, Member of the Global Executive Steering Committee and Member of Global Executive Committee

Alastair Hughes - Chief Executive Officer of the Asia-Pacific

Analysts

Brandon Burke Dobell - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

David Ridley-Lane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

David Gold - Sidoti & Company, LLC

Sloan Bohlen - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

William C. Marks - JMP Securities LLC, Research Division

Michael W. Mueller - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Presentation

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Release Conference Call for Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. Today's call is being recorded.

Any statements made about future results and performance or about plans, expectations and objectives are forward-looking statements. Actual results and performance may differ from those included in the forward-looking statements as a result of factors discussed in the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and in our other reports filed with the SEC.

The company disclaims any undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements. A transcript of this call will be posted and available on the company's website. A web audio replay will also be available for download. Information and the link can be found on the company's website. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Colin Dyer, Chief Executive Officer, for opening remarks. Please go ahead, sir.

Colin Dyer

Thank you, operator, and hello to everybody joining our call today. I'm in Singapore where it's 7 a.m. This is one stop on a 5-week trip that will take me around Asia of our -- 8 of our Asian markets. And with me this morning is the CEO of our Asia Pacific business, Alastair Hughes, who will comment on market conditions and on our successful achievements in this key strategic region where we're doing so well, and I'm sure he'll be happy to take questions from you later on. Lauralee Martin, our Chief Financial and Operating Officer, also joins us. She's in Chicago, and she'll be discussing our financial results in greater detail in a few minutes.

But first, to put our remarks into context, here are the headlines on our performance and some comments on the market environment in which we achieved them. We are pleased with our 2011 results. Revenue totaled a record $3.6 billion for the year, up 23% from 2010 and a product of double-digit year-on-year growth in all of our operating segments. Full year net income was $154 million or $3.70 a share. Adjusting for certain charges, net income was $215 million or $4.86 a share, a 39% increase from $166 million in 2010.

Performance in the Americas was led by our Leasing and Capital Markets business, improved results in Europe benefited from integration of our King Sturge merger and from our strong Capital Markets' results overall. Asia Pacific delivered record revenue and profits outside continued growth in market-leading businesses in India and China. Our LaSalle Investment Management delivered strong investment performance to its clients earning increased incentive fees. So all-in-all, we completed 2011 in very good shape, and we're well-positioned to generate continued growth this year.

Turning to current economic environment conditions. IHS Global Insight forecast 2012 global GDP growth at 2.7%, down marginally from the 3.7% in 2011. The world's 3 largest economies: U.S., Japan and China, are all expected to grow.

With relatively favorable economic news coming out of the U.S. recently, there were various projections of 2% for the year. Given lingering Euro-zone debt issues it is not surprising that economic risks are so skewed to the downside in Europe. Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the region at 5% in 2012, with China leading the way and solid growth is also predicted, while Japan continuing its recovery from the earthquake and tsunami.

Despite lingering economic uncertainties, key real estate indicators for 2004 -- sorry, it's Q4 2011, showed that most major markets continue to progress steadily through the recovery cycle. Investment volumes are generally held firm, although there is evidence of continued slide to quality assets, to protect against downside risks. Most markets have seen positive net absorption, declining vacancy rates and modest prime rental growth.

To summarize current market conditions, we posted slides on the Investor Relations page of our public website, joneslanglasalle.com.

Slide 3 shows the J&L investment sales clock, which presents capital values in world markets at their differing stages in the cycle. You can see that compared to a year ago, working capital values continue to accelerate in most major markets, however it has begun to slow in others, and capital values have started to fall in Hong Kong, and we anticipated Singapore will also move through the top of the cycle this year. We also believe that this is a temporary correction, however, with value growth probably returning to both markets in 2013.

Direct real estate investment into commercial real estate globally totaled $411 million in 2011, a 28% increase on 2010. Investment markets are proving to be resilient, as real estate continues to attract capital from domestic and increasingly cross-border investors. Volumes were up nearly 60% in the Americas in 2011 to $155 billion; up 20% in Europe to $165 billion; and Asia Pacific investment volumes increased by 6% to $91 billion.

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