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FY 2021 GAAP EPS climbed 143% to $5.41
FY 2021 Adjusted EPS, less SPAC-related gain, rose 67% to $5.45
DALLAS, February 24, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021. The company set new annual and quarterly milestones with revenue, net revenue, earnings and free cash flow reaching all-time highs.
"We had a strong finish to 2021, significantly outperforming both fourth-quarter 2020 and the pre-pandemic peak in fourth-quarter 2019. This capped an outstanding year of performance for CBRE," said Bob Sulentic, CBRE’s president and chief executive officer.
"We’ve positioned the company over the past several years to enhance resiliency and capitalize on secular tailwinds by successfully diversifying our business across four dimensions – asset types, lines of business, clients and geographies. Our strong results benefited from this work, as well as from our healthy balance sheet and the supportive macro environment."
Reflecting its strong 2021 performance and future growth opportunities, CBRE has increased its multi-year aspirational growth framework. For the period from 2020 to 2025, the company now expects average annual core adjusted earnings per share growth to exceed 20%, absent a recession. The average annual growth rate is expected to be in the low double digits for the period from 2021 to 2025. The expected growth rates have meaningful upside from potential incremental capital allocation.
GAAP earnings per share totaled $2.04 for the fourth quarter, while adjusted earnings per share totaled $2.19. Both measures include an approximate 7-cent negative impact from an increase in a reserve previously taken on a UK development project that had been adversely affected earlier in the pandemic. GAAP and adjusted earnings per share also include a 36-cent non-cash gain related to the company’s investment in Altus Power, Inc. through its SPAC. Excluding the SPAC-related gain, which is comparable to how the company reported financial results in prior periods, adjusted earnings per share totaled $1.83.
Consolidated Financial Results Overview
The following table presents highlights of CBRE performance (dollars in millions, except per share data):
Net revenue (2)
GAAP net income
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA (3)
Adjusted net income (4)
Adjusted EPS (4)
Core Adjusted EPS (5)
Cash Flow Results
Cash flow from operations
Less: Capital expenditures
Free cash flow (6)
Core adjusted EPS excludes the financial impact of strategic non-core equity investments not attributable to a business segment and is comprised of Altus Power, Inc. and VC-related investments. This metric is provided to enhance transparency of the performance of both the company’s core operations and strategic non-core investments. Fourth-quarter 2021 core adjusted EPS excludes a 36-cent gain related to the company’s Altus investment and a 3-cent gain related to fair-value changes of non-core investments.
Advisory Services Segment
The following table presents highlights of the Advisory Services segment performance (dollars in millions, totals may not add due to rounding):
Segment operating profit (7)
Segment operating profit on revenue margin (8)
Segment operating profit on net revenue margin (8)
Strong fourth quarter performance resulted from revenue growth across most business lines, led by high-margin property sales and leasing, as well as cost mitigation actions taken in 2020.
Global sales revenue rose 73% (74% local currency) from last year’s fourth quarter and was 45% above the fourth-quarter 2019 peak. The United States paced the rebound among major markets, with revenue rising 89% versus fourth-quarter 2020 and 74% versus fourth-quarter 2019. CBRE’s investment sales market share improved 100 basis points from last year’s fourth quarter to a market-leading 17.5%, according to Real Capital Analytics. International sales revenue was also above fourth-quarter 2019 levels, led by Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Across the globe, investment activity remained strong for industrial and multifamily properties, while office and retail property sales showed sequential improvement. Retail sales acceleration was particularly notable, with revenue well above fourth-quarter 2019 levels.
Global leasing revenue rose 60% (same local currency) from fourth-quarter 2020 and 14% from the fourth-quarter 2019 peak, with continued strong industrial property demand. In the United States, leasing revenue climbed 77% compared with fourth-quarter 2020 and 14% from the fourth-quarter 2019 peak, with office leasing showing continued sequential improvement but still slightly below the 2019 level. In the United Kingdom, leasing revenue rose 59% (55% local currency) and 45%, compared with the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Commercial mortgage origination revenue slipped 3% (same local currency) compared with a particularly robust fourth-quarter 2020. This slight decline was due to lower gains on mortgage origination servicing rights from loans sourced for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). GSE origination activity faced a tough comparison with the prior-year fourth quarter, when the government agencies were extremely active in providing liquidity to a pandemic-pressured multifamily market. As a result, GSE mortgage servicing gains fell over 50% compared with the prior-year period. Aside from these lower gains, mortgage origination revenue grew 29% as activity with private lenders accelerated.
Continued growth in the loan servicing portfolio and an active financing market led to a 36% (same local currency) increase in loan servicing revenue. The portfolio increased 10% from third-quarter 2021 to end 2021 at approximately $330 billion. Valuation revenue rose 10% (same local currency), driven by the United States and Australia. Property management revenue rose 5% (same local currency) compared with fourth-quarter 2020.
Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) Segment
The following table presents highlights of the GWS segment performance (dollars in millions, totals may not add due to rounding):
Net revenue (13)
Segment operating profit
Segment operating profit on revenue margin
Segment operating profit on net revenue margin
CBRE closed on the acquisition of a 60% interest in Turner & Townsend, a global leader in program management, project management and cost consulting, on November 1, 2021. Exclusive of $194 million of revenue from Turner & Townsend, legacy GWS revenue rose 8% (7% local currency) and net revenue increased 10% (same local currency).
Facilities management, which is largely contractual, saw 6% (5% local currency) revenue growth, driven by increased activity with local clients. Project management revenue rose 17% (same local currency), excluding Turner & Townsend contributions. This growth reflected the continued revival of construction activity and capital spending projects.
GWS segment operating profit increased $18 million from the prior-year quarter to $198 million. Turner & Townsend contributed over $23 million of operating profit, which is in-line with the company’s previously communicated expectations. Legacy segment results also reflect higher medical insurance claims relative to the prior-year quarter and about $3 million of non-cash deferred purchase consideration expense related to the remaining payments for the Turner & Townsend transaction.
Real Estate Investments (REI) Segment
The following table presents highlights of the REI segment performance (dollars in millions):
Segment operating profit
REI produced record segment operating profit for the fourth quarter. Global real estate development operating profit (9) surged 74% (73% local currency) to more than $120 million. A strong pace of industrial asset sales at high valuations more than offset the previously referenced increase in the reserve for a UK development project.
The development pipeline totaled $9.3 billion and the in-process portfolio ended the year at $18.5 billion, a record level and up $1.6 billion from third-quarter 2021. Industrial and multifamily assets largely comprise both the in-process portfolio and pipeline.
Investment management revenue was roughly level with fourth-quarter 2020 at approximately $150 million. Asset management fees rose 21% (20% local currency), reflecting a strong increase in assets under management (AUM), and higher transaction fees. This was offset by a decline in carried interest revenue, which can be volatile, and totaled less than $8 million, down from $32 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating profit(9) was down less than expected, falling 28% (same local currency) to approximately $41 million, due to strong net promote and co-investment returns.
AUM grew 7% from third-quarter 2021 to end the year at approximately $141.9 billion, a record high for the company. Gains in asset valuations and positive net inflows led to an $8.8 billion ($9.4 billion local currency) increase in AUM over the quarter. More than 80% of the AUM is invested in assets other than office.
Corporate and Other Segment
The Corporate and Other segment produced profit of $25 million, driven by about $169 million of net gains from deconsolidation of the SPAC upon its merger with and into Altus Power, Inc. and subsequent fair value mark-to-market on this investment as well as other strategic non-core equity investments. Corporate overhead expenses roughly doubled from the prior-year fourth quarter and totaled $143 million. Approximately $27 million of this increase was driven by higher incentive compensation, as performance materially exceeded initial 2021 expectations. Higher corporate overhead also reflects investments in key corporate functions to help support a larger business.
Capital Allocation Overview
Free Cash Flow – During the fourth quarter of 2021, free cash flow increased 24% to $1.1 billion. This reflected cash from operating activities of $1.2 billion, less total capital expenditures of $88.4 million. Net capital expenditures totaled $75.9 million. (10)
Stock Repurchase Program – The company repurchased approximately 1.8 million shares for $184.6 million ($102.72 average price per share) during the fourth quarter of 2021, and 3.95 million shares for $372.9 million ($94.30 average price per share) during all of 2021. There was approximately $1.9 billion of capacity remaining under the company’s authorized stock repurchase program as of February 23, 2022.
Acquisitions and Investments – The previously announced 60% ownership interest in Turner & Townsend Holdings Limited was acquired for approximately $1.27 billion, net of cash received. The initial payment for the Turner & Townsend transaction was funded with cash on hand of $722.6 million. The remaining payments totaling $591.2 million will be made in 2024 and 2025. In addition, the company made in-fill acquisitions totaling $37.5 million in cash and deferred consideration during the fourth quarter.
Leverage and Financing Overview
Leverage – The company’s net leverage ratio (net cash (11) to trailing twelve-month adjusted EBITDA) was (0.24x) as of December 31, 2021, which is substantially below the company’s primary debt covenant of 4.25x. The net leverage ratio is computed as follows (dollars in millions):
December 31, 2021
Less: Cash (12)
Net debt (cash) (11)
Divided by: Trailing twelve month consolidated adjusted EBITDA
Net leverage ratio
Liquidity – As of December 31, 2021, the company had approximately $5.5 billion of total liquidity, consisting of approximately $2.3 billion in cash, plus the ability to borrow an aggregate of approximately $3.2 billion under its revolving credit facilities, net of any outstanding letters of credit.
Conference Call Details
The company’s fourth quarter earnings webcast and conference call will be held today, Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Investors are encouraged to access the webcast via this link or they can click this link beginning at 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time for automated access to the conference call.
Alternatively, investors may dial into the conference call using these operator-assisted phone numbers: 877.407.8037 (U.S.) or 201.689.8037 (International). A replay of the call will be available starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 24, 2022. The replay is accessible by dialing 877.660.6853 (U.S.) or 201.612.7415 (International) and using the access code: 13725909#. A transcript of the call will be available on the company’s Investor Relations website at https://ir.cbre.com.
About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2021 revenue). The company has more than 105,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com. We routinely post important information on our website, including corporate and investor presentations and financial information. We intend to use our website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Such disclosures will be included in the Investor Relations section of our website at https://ir.cbre.com. Accordingly, investors should monitor such portion of our website, in addition to following our press releases, Securities and Exchange Commission filings and public conference calls and webcasts.
Safe Harbor and Footnotes
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the company’s future growth momentum, operations, business outlook, capital deployment and financial performance, including core earnings per share. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company’s actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested in forward-looking statements in this press release. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, the company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. If the company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: disruptions in general economic, political and regulatory conditions and significant public health events, particularly in geographies or industry sectors where our business may be concentrated; volatility or adverse developments in the securities, capital or credit markets, interest rate increases and conditions affecting the value of real estate assets, inside and outside the United States; poor performance of real estate investments or other conditions that negatively impact clients’ willingness to make real estate or long-term contractual commitments and the cost and availability of capital for investment in real estate; foreign currency fluctuations and changes in currency restrictions, trade sanctions and import/export and transfer pricing rules; disruptions to business, market and operational conditions related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of government rules and regulations intended to mitigate the effects of this pandemic, including, without limitation, rules and regulations that impact us as a loan originator and servicer for U.S. Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs); our ability to compete globally, or in specific geographic markets or business segments that are material to us; our ability to identify, acquire and integrate accretive businesses; costs and potential future capital requirements relating to businesses we may acquire; integration challenges arising out of companies we may acquire; increases in unemployment and general slowdowns in commercial activity; trends in pricing and risk assumption for commercial real estate services; the effect of significant changes in capitalization rates across different property types; a reduction by companies in their reliance on outsourcing for their commercial real estate needs, which would affect our revenues and operating performance; client actions to restrain project spending and reduce outsourced staffing levels; our ability to further diversify our revenue model to offset cyclical economic trends in the commercial real estate industry; our ability to attract new user and investor clients; our ability to retain major clients and renew related contracts; our ability to leverage our global services platform to maximize and sustain long-term cash flow; our ability to continue investing in our platform and client service offerings; our ability to maintain expense discipline; the emergence of disruptive business models and technologies; negative publicity or harm to our brand and reputation; the failure by third parties to comply with service level agreements or regulatory or legal requirements; the ability of our investment management business to maintain and grow assets under management and achieve desired investment returns for our investors, and any potential related litigation, liabilities or reputational harm possible if we fail to do so; our ability to manage fluctuations in net earnings and cash flow, which could result from poor performance in our investment programs, including our participation as a principal in real estate investments; the ability of our indirect subsidiary, CBRE Capital Markets, Inc., to periodically amend, or replace, on satisfactory terms, the agreements for its warehouse lines of credit; declines in lending activity of U.S. GSEs, regulatory oversight of such activity and our mortgage servicing revenue from the commercial real estate mortgage market; changes in U.S. and international law and regulatory environments (including relating to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, tariffs, currency controls and other trade control laws), particularly in Asia, Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, due to the level of political instability in those regions; litigation and its financial and reputational risks to us; our exposure to liabilities in connection with real estate advisory and property management activities and our ability to procure sufficient insurance coverage on acceptable terms; our ability to retain, attract and incentivize key personnel; our ability to manage organizational challenges associated with our size; liabilities under guarantees, or for construction defects, that we incur in our development services business; variations in historically customary seasonal patterns that cause our business not to perform as expected; our leverage under our debt instruments as well as the limited restrictions therein on our ability to incur additional debt, and the potential increased borrowing costs to us from a credit-ratings downgrade; our and our employees’ ability to execute on, and adapt to, information technology strategies and trends; cybersecurity threats or other threats to our information technology networks, including the potential misappropriation of assets or sensitive information, corruption of data or operational disruption; our ability to comply with laws and regulations related to our global operations, including real estate licensure, tax, labor and employment laws and regulations, as well as the anti-corruption laws and trade sanctions of the U.S. and other countries; changes in applicable tax or accounting requirements; any inability for us to implement and maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting; the effect of implementation of new accounting rules and standards or the impairment of our goodwill and intangible assets; and the performance of our equity investments in companies that we do not control.
Additional information concerning factors that may influence the company’s financial information is discussed under "Risk Factors," "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and "Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021, as well as in the company’s press releases and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Such filings are available publicly and may be obtained on the company’s website at www.cbre.com or upon written request from CBRE’s Investor Relations Department at email@example.com.
The terms "net revenue," "adjusted net income," "core adjusted net income," "adjusted earnings per share" (or adjusted EPS), "core adjusted EPS," "consolidated adjusted EBITDA," "business line operating profit," "segment operating profit on revenue margin," "segment operating profit on net revenue margin," and "free cash flow," all of which CBRE uses in this press release, are non-GAAP financial measures under SEC guidelines, and you should refer to the footnotes below as well as the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section in this press release for a further explanation of these measures. We have also included in that section reconciliations of these measures in specific periods to their most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP for those periods.
Totals may not sum in tables in millions included in this release due to rounding.
Note: We have not reconciled the (non-GAAP) core adjusted earnings per share forward-looking guidance included in this presentation to the most directly comparable GAAP measure because this cannot be done without unreasonable effort due to the variability and low visibility with respect to costs related to acquisitions, carried interest incentive compensation and financing costs, which are potential adjustments to future earnings. We expect the variability of these items to have a potentially unpredictable, and a potentially significant, impact on our future GAAP financial results.
Local currency percentage change is calculated by comparing current-period results at prior-period exchange rates versus prior-period results.
Net revenue is gross revenue less costs largely associated with subcontracted vendor work performed for clients. These costs are reimbursable by clients and generally have no margin.
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings, inclusive of non-controlling interest, before net interest expense, write-off of financing costs on extinguished debt, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, asset impairments, adjustments related to certain carried interest incentive compensation expense (reversal) to align with the timing of associated revenue, fair value adjustments to real estate assets acquired in the acquisition of Telford Homes plc in 2019 (the Telford acquisition) (purchase accounting) that were sold in the period, costs incurred related to legal entity restructuring, costs associated with workforce optimization, transformation initiatives, and integration and other costs related to acquisitions. The above definition was changed in fourth quarter 2021 to include non-controlling interest given the acquisition of Turner & Townsend. Prior period results have been recast to conform to this definition.
Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share (or adjusted EPS) exclude the effect of select items from GAAP net income and GAAP earnings per diluted share as well as adjust the provision for income taxes and impact on non-controlling interest for such charges. Adjustments during the periods presented included non-cash depreciation and amortization expense related to certain assets attributable to acquisitions, certain carried interest incentive compensation expense (reversal) to align with the timing of associated revenue, the impact of fair value adjustments to real estate assets acquired in the Telford acquisition (purchase accounting) that were sold in the period, costs incurred related to legal entity restructuring, integration and other costs related to acquisitions, costs associated with workforce optimization, transformation initiatives and asset impairments.
Core adjusted net income and core adjusted EPS removes from adjusted EPS the fair value changes and related tax impact of certain strategic non-core non-controlling equity investments that are not directly related to our business segments (including venture capital "VC" related investments). During the fourth quarter of 2021 and for the year ended December 31, 2021, this measure also removed the impact of net gain recorded on deconsolidation of CBRE Acquisition Holdings, Inc. upon and with its merger into Altus Power, Inc.
Free cash flow is calculated as cash flow from operations, less capital expenditures (reflected in the investing section of the consolidated statement of cash flows).
Segment operating profit is the measure reported to the chief operating decision maker (CODM) for purposes of making decisions about allocating resources to each segment and assessing performance of each segment. Segment operating profit represents earnings, inclusive of non-controlling interest, before net interest expense, write-off of financing costs on extinguished debt, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and asset impairments, as well as adjustments related to the following: certain carried interest incentive compensation expense (reversal) to align with the timing of associated revenue, fair value adjustments to real estate acquired in the Telford acquisition (purchase accounting) that were sold in the period, costs incurred related to legal entity restructuring, costs associated with workforce optimization, transformation initiatives and integration and other costs related to acquisitions. The above definition was changed in fourth quarter 2021 to include non-controlling interest given the acquisition of Turner & Townsend. Prior period results have been recast to conform to this definition.
Segment operating profit on revenue and net revenue margins represent segment operating profit divided by revenue and net revenue, respectively.
Represents line of business profitability/losses, as adjusted.
For the three months ended December 31, 2021, the company incurred capital expenditures of $88.4 million (reflected in the investing section of the condensed consolidated statement of cash flows) and received tenant concessions from landlords of $12.5 million (reflected in the operating section of the condensed consolidated statement of cash flows).
Net debt (cash) is calculated as cash available for company use less total debt (excluding non-recourse debt).
Cash represents cash and cash equivalents (excluding restricted cash) and excludes $125.2 million of cash in consolidated funds and other entities not available for company use at December 31, 2021.
Fourth-quarter 2021 GWS net revenue growth was negatively impacted by approximately 4% due to a reclassification of pass-through revenue in project management. There was no impact to GWS revenue in the period.
CBRE GROUP, INC.
FOR THREE MONTHS AND TWELVE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021 AND 2020
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
Three Months Ended December 31,
Twelve Months Ended December 31,
Pass through costs also recognized as revenue
Costs and expenses:
Cost of revenue
Operating, administrative and other
Depreciation and amortization
Total costs and expenses
Gain on disposition of real estate
Equity income from unconsolidated subsidiaries
Interest expense, net of interest income (1)
Write-off of financing costs on extinguished debt
Income before provision for income taxes
Provision for income taxes