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Brokerage CB Richard Ellis swings to a first-quarter profit

April 26, 2011 |  2:28 pm

Profit surged in the first quarter for the world’s largest commercial property brokerage as the global real estate market improved and buildings changed hands.

Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said income from arranging property sales grew robustly, led by strong activity in Asia and North America. Revenue from brokering leases also rose, showing gains on top of a solid quarter a year ago.

“This year’s first quarter comes against a backdrop of steadily improving market fundamentals globally,” Chief Executive Brett White said in a statement. “Looking ahead, general market trends remain favorable with rising transaction activity and improving fundamentals across most of the world.”

First-quarter profit was $34.4 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $6.6 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, profit would have been 13 cents a share, 1 cent more than the average of analysts’  expectations.

Revenue was $1.2 billion, an increase of 16%.

Shares closed down 2 cents at $28.55 on Tuesday before earnings were released.

-- Roger Vincent