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CBG > SEC Filings for CBG > Form 10-Q on 9-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for CBRE GROUP, INC.

Form 10-Q for CBRE GROUP, INC.


Quarterly Report


This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for CBRE Group, Inc. for the three months ended September 30, 2012 represents an update to the more detailed and comprehensive disclosures included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. Accordingly, you should read the following discussion in conjunction with the information included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K as well as the unaudited financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

In addition, some of the statements and assumptions in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 or Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, including, in particular, statements about our plans, strategies and prospects as well as estimates of industry growth for the third quarter and beyond. For important information regarding these forward-looking statements, please see the discussion below under the caption "Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements."


We are the world's largest commercial real estate services firm, based on 2011 revenue, with leading full-service operations in major metropolitan areas throughout the world. We offer a full range of services to occupiers, owners, lenders and investors in office, retail, industrial, multifamily and other types of commercial real estate. As of December 31, 2011, we operated more than 300 offices worldwide, excluding affiliate offices, with approximately 34,000 employees providing commercial real estate services under the "CBRE" brand name, investment management services under the "CBRE Global Investors" brand name and development services under the "Trammell Crow" brand name. Our business is focused on several competencies, including commercial property and corporate facilities management, occupier and property/agency leasing, property sales, valuation, real estate investment management, commercial mortgage origination and servicing, capital markets (equity and debt) solutions, development services and proprietary research. We generate revenue from management fees on a contractual and per-project basis, and from commissions on transactions. We have been the only commercial real estate services company in the S&P 500 since 2006, and in the Fortune 500 since 2008. In 2012, for the second year in a row, we were the highest ranked commercial real estate services company among the Fortune Most Admired Companies, and were also named the Global Real Estate Advisor of the Year by Euromoney. Additionally, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals has included us among the top 100 global outsourcing companies across all industries for six consecutive years, including 2012 when we ranked fourth overall and were the highest ranked commercial real estate services company. In 2011, we achieved the highest brand reputation ranking among all commercial real estate companies in a survey of Wall Street Journal subscribers.

When you read our financial statements and the information included in this Quarterly Report, you should consider that we have experienced, and continue to experience, several material trends and uncertainties that have affected our financial condition and results of operations that make it challenging to predict our future performance based on our historical results. We believe that the following material trends and uncertainties are crucial to an understanding of the variability in our historical earnings and cash flows and the potential for continued variability in the future:

Macroeconomic Conditions

Economic trends and government policies affect global and regional commercial real estate markets as well as our operations directly. These include: overall economic activity and employment growth, interest rate levels, the cost and availability of credit and the impact of tax and regulatory policies. Periods of economic weakness or recession, significantly rising interest rates, declining employment levels, decreasing demand for real estate, falling real estate values, or the public perception that any of these events may occur, will negatively affect the performance of some or all of our business lines. From late 2007 through 2009, the severe global economic

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downturn and credit market crisis had significant adverse effects on our operations and reduced our revenue from property management fees and commissions derived from property sales, leasing, valuation and financing, and funds available to invest in commercial real estate and related assets. These negative trends began to reverse in 2010 and 2011 as commercial real estate markets improved in step with the stabilization and recovery of global economic activity.

Weak economic conditions from late 2007 through 2009 also affected our compensation expense, which is structured to generally decrease in line with a fall in revenue. Compensation is our largest expense and the sales and leasing professionals in our largest line of business, advisory services, generally are paid on a commission and bonus basis that correlates with our revenue performance. As a result, the negative effect of difficult market conditions on our operating margins was partially mitigated by the inherent variability of our compensation cost structure. In addition, when negative economic conditions are particularly severe, as they were in 2008 and 2009, we have moved decisively to improve financial performance by lowering operating expenses. As general economic conditions and our financial performance improved, we restored certain expenses beginning in 2010. Notwithstanding the ongoing market recovery, a return of adverse global and regional economic trends remains one of the most significant risks to the performance of our operations and our financial condition.

Economic conditions first began to negatively affect our performance in the Americas, our largest segment in terms of revenue, beginning in the third quarter of 2007. The effects became more severe as the decline in economic activity (particularly in the United States) accelerated throughout 2008 and most of 2009. The global capital markets disruption in late 2008, in particular, caused a significant and prolonged decline in property sales, leasing, financing and investment activity that adversely affected all our business lines. Commercial real estate fundamentals began to stabilize in early 2010 and to improve later that year and in 2011 following a return to positive economic growth in the United States. The recovery has continued at a slow pace in 2012, with vacancy rates dipping moderately and rental rates stabilizing or edging up slightly. While the ready availability of low-cost credit has sustained property sales activity, U.S. political and fiscal uncertainty has caused investors and occupiers to become more cautious and constrained both sales and leasing activity. Overall market activity continues to be well below levels experienced in 2006 and 2007.

In Europe, weakened market conditions first began to manifest in the United Kingdom in late 2007 and in countries on the continent in early 2008. The major European economies also fell into recession in 2008, which deepened and persisted throughout 2009. Economic activity improved in 2010, but began to wane again in 2011 and 2012, due to the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis. As a result, since 2011, economic growth in Europe has lagged behind other parts of the world. While rents have essentially remained flat, leasing velocity has slowed in many major markets in Europe. Investment sales in Europe were adversely affected by the financial crisis in late 2008 and most of 2009. Investment sales recovered in Europe in 2010, particularly in larger markets. However, activity across most of Europe peaked in 2011 and, as a result of the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis, has been weak in 2012, with markets perceived as safe havens, such as the United Kingdom, attracting investment capital.

Real estate markets in Asia Pacific were also affected, though generally to a lesser degree than in the United States and Europe, by the global credit market dislocation and economic downturn. This resulted in lower investment sales and leasing activity in the region in 2008 and most of 2009. Transaction activity revived significantly in late 2009, reflecting strong economic growth, and improved through 2010 and most of 2011. However, transaction activity moderated in the later part of 2011 and in 2012, reflecting slower domestic economic activity, particularly in China, and the effects of heightened global economic uncertainty stemming from the European sovereign debt crisis and sluggish U.S. growth, both of which have adversely affected Asian exports.

Real estate investment management and property development activity were also adversely affected by deteriorating conditions beginning in late 2007, as property values declined sharply, and both financing and disposition options became more constrained. However, the macro environment for these businesses has generally improved as the real estate credit and investment sales markets have recovered since late 2010.

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The further recovery of our global sales, leasing, investment management and development services operations depends on continued improvement in market fundamentals, including more robust economic growth and stronger job creation; stable and healthy global credit markets; and increased business and investor confidence.

Effects of Acquisitions

Our management historically has made significant use of strategic acquisitions to add new service competencies, to increase our scale within existing competencies and to expand our presence in various geographic regions around the world. In December 2006, we acquired the Trammell Crow Company (the Trammell Crow Company Acquisition), our largest acquisition to date, which deepened our outsourcing services offerings for corporate and institutional clients, especially project and facilities management, strengthened our ability to provide integrated management solutions across geographies, and established resources and expertise to offer real estate development services throughout the United States.

On February 15, 2011, we announced that we had entered into definitive agreements to acquire the majority of the real estate investment management business of Netherlands-based ING Group N.V. (ING) for approximately $940 million in cash. The acquisitions included substantially all of ING's Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) operations in Europe and Asia, as well as substantially all of Clarion Real Estate Securities (CRES), its U.S.-based global real estate listed securities business (collectively referred to as ING REIM). On February 15, 2011, we also announced that we expected to acquire approximately $55 million of CRES co-investments from ING and potentially additional interests in other funds managed by ING REIM Europe and ING REIM Asia. Upon completion of the acquisitions, which we refer to as the REIM Acquisitions, ING REIM became part of our Global Investment Management segment (which conducts business through our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, CBRE Global Investors, an independently operated business segment). The ING REIM businesses were highly complementary to our existing investment management business, with little overlap in client base and different investment strategies. CBRE Global Investors traditionally focused on value-add funds and separate accounts. ING REIM primarily focused on core funds and global listed real estate securities funds, except in Asia, where ING REIM managed value-add and opportunistic funds. The combined entity provides us with a significantly enhanced ability to meet the needs of institutional investors across global markets with a full spectrum of investment programs and strategies.

On July 1, 2011, we completed the acquisition of CRES for $332.9 million and CRES co-investments from ING for an aggregate amount of $58.6 million. On October 3, 2011, we completed the acquisition of ING REIM Asia for $45.3 million and three ING REIM Asia co-investments from ING for an aggregate amount of $13.9 million. On October 31, 2011, we completed the acquisition of ING REIM Europe for $442.5 million and one co-investment from ING for $7.4 million. During the nine months ended September 30, 2012, we also funded nine additional co-investments for an aggregate amount of $35.2 million related to ING REIM Europe. Our initial estimate of $940 million in total purchase price for the REIM Acquisitions has been reduced by approximately $47 million for certain fund and separate account management contracts that were not acquired and for certain balance sheet adjustments. There is a possibility of an additional closing of approximately $80 million and further co-investments of up to $20 million in the future related to our acquisition of ING REIM Europe.

As of September 30, 2012, CBRE Global Investors' assets under management, or AUM, totaled $90.4 billion. AUM generally refers to the properties and other assets with respect to which we provide (or participate in) oversight, investment management services and other advice, and which generally consist of real estate properties or loans, securities portfolios and investments in operating companies and joint ventures. Our AUM is intended principally to reflect the extent of our presence in the real estate market, not the basis for determining our management fees. Our material assets under management consist of:

a) the total fair market value of the real estate properties and other assets either wholly-owned or held by joint ventures and other entities in which our sponsored funds or investment vehicles and client

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accounts have invested or to which they have provided financing. Committed (but unfunded) capital from investors in our sponsored funds is not included in this component of our AUM. The value of development properties is included at estimated completion cost. In the case of real estate operating companies, the total value of real properties controlled by the companies, generally through joint ventures, is included in AUM; and

b) the net asset value of our managed securities portfolios, including investments (which may be comprised of committed but uncalled capital) in private real estate funds under our fund of funds program.

Our calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations of other asset managers, and as a result, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other asset managers.

Strategic in-fill acquisitions have also played a key role in expanding our geographic coverage and broadening and strengthening our service offerings. The companies we acquired have generally been quality regional firms or niche specialty firms that complement our existing platform within a region, or affiliates in which, in some cases, we held an equity interest. From 2005 to 2010, we completed 60 in-fill acquisitions for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $601 million, with most of these completed before the recession in 2008. In 2011, we completed five in-fill acquisitions, including a valuation business in Australia, a retail property management business in central and eastern Europe, our former affiliate company in Switzerland, a retail services business in the United Kingdom and a shopping center management business in the Netherlands. During the nine months ended September 30, 2012, we completed three in-fill acquisitions, including our former affiliate companies in Turkey and Vietnam, and a niche real estate investment advisor in the United Kingdom. As market conditions continue to improve, we believe acquisitions may once again serve as a growth engine, supplementing our organic growth.

Although our management believes that strategic acquisitions can significantly decrease the cost, time and commitment of management resources necessary to attain a meaningful competitive position within targeted markets or to expand our presence within our current markets, our management also believes that most acquisitions will initially have an adverse impact on our operating and net income, both as a result of transaction-related expenditures, which include severance, lease termination, transaction and deferred financing costs, among others, and the charges and costs of integrating the acquired business and its financial and accounting systems into our own. For example, through September 30, 2012, we incurred $258.9 million of transaction-related expenditures and integration costs in connection with the Trammell Crow Company Acquisition. In addition, through September 30, 2012, we incurred $103.5 million of transaction-related expenditures and integration costs in connection with the REIM Acquisitions. As with prior material acquisitions, we anticipate incurring significant integration expenses associated with the REIM Acquisitions in 2012 and beyond. We expect the total transaction costs relating to the REIM Acquisitions, including retention and integration costs, to be approximately $150 million.

International Operations

As we increase our international operations through either acquisitions or organic growth, fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the other currencies in which we may generate earnings could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. Our management team generally seeks to mitigate our exposure by balancing assets and liabilities that are denominated in the same currency and by maintaining cash positions outside the United States only at levels necessary for operating purposes. In addition, from time to time we enter into foreign currency exchange contracts to mitigate our exposure to exchange rate changes related to particular transactions and to hedge risks associated with the translation of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars.

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With the closing of the REIM Acquisitions, our Global Investment Management business now has a significant amount of Euro-denominated assets under management as well as associated revenue and earnings in Europe, which has seen a developing crisis in sovereign debt resulting in a more pronounced movement in the value of the Euro against the U.S. dollar. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates have resulted and may continue to result in corresponding fluctuations in our AUM, revenue and earnings.

Due to the constantly changing currency exposures to which we are subject and the volatility of currency exchange rates, we cannot predict the effect of exchange rate fluctuations upon future operating results. In addition, fluctuations in currencies relative to the U.S. dollar may make it more difficult to perform period-to-period comparisons of our reported results of operations.

Our international operations also are subject to, among other things, political instability and changing regulatory environments, which may adversely affect our future financial condition and results of operations. Our management routinely monitors these risks and related costs and evaluates the appropriate amount of resources to allocate towards business activities in foreign countries where such risks and costs are particularly significant.


We are highly leveraged and have significant debt service obligations. As of September 30, 2012, our total debt, excluding our notes payable on real estate and warehouse lines of credit (both of which are generally nonrecourse to us), was approximately $2.5 billion.

Our level of indebtedness and the operating and financial restrictions in our debt agreements place constraints on the operation of our business. Although our management believes that long-term indebtedness has been an important lever in the development of our business, including facilitating the Trammell Crow Company Acquisition and the REIM Acquisitions, the cash flow necessary to service this debt is not available for other general corporate purposes, which may limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and in the commercial real estate services industry. Our management seeks to mitigate this exposure both through the refinancing of debt when available on attractive terms and through selective repayment and retirement of indebtedness.

Critical Accounting Policies

Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, which require management to make estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts. The estimates and assumptions are based on historical experience and on other factors that management believes to be reasonable. Actual results may differ from those estimates. Critical accounting policies represent the areas where more significant judgments and estimates are used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. A discussion of such critical accounting policies, which include revenue recognition, our consolidation policy, goodwill and other intangible assets, real estate and income taxes can be found in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. There have been no material changes to these policies as of September 30, 2012.

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Results of Operations

The following table sets forth items derived from our consolidated statements of
operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011,
presented in dollars and as a percentage of revenue (dollars in thousands):

                                                  Three Months Ended                                          Nine Months Ended
                                                     September 30,                                              September 30,
                                          2012                          2011                         2012                          2011
Revenue                          $ 1,557,147       100.0 %    $ 1,534,463        100.0 %    $ 4,508,253       100.0 %    $ 4,141,786        100.0 %
Costs and expenses:
Cost of services                     915,245        58.8          894,607         58.3        2,610,944        57.9        2,448,184         59.1
Operating, administrative and
other                                482,362        31.0          469,138         30.6        1,405,461        31.2        1,279,019         30.9
Depreciation and amortization         40,102         2.5           31,308          2.0          124,895         2.8           79,871          1.9
Non-amortizable intangible
asset impairment                      19,826         1.3               -            -            19,826         0.4               -            -

Total costs and expenses           1,457,535        93.6        1,395,053         90.9        4,161,126        92.3        3,807,074         91.9
Gain on disposition of real
estate                                 3,983         0.3            3,595          0.2            5,231         0.1           11,594          0.3

Operating income                     103,595         6.7          143,005          9.3          352,358         7.8          346,306          8.4
Equity income from
unconsolidated subsidiaries            2,875         0.2            6,714          0.4           19,870         0.5           38,961          0.9
Other income (loss)                      151          -            (5,809 )       (0.4 )          4,635         0.1           (5,809 )       (0.2 )
Interest income                        1,895         0.1            2,493          0.2            5,783         0.1            7,063          0.2
Interest expense                      43,651         2.8           39,080          2.5          132,043         2.9          107,014          2.6

Income from continuing
operations before provision
for income taxes                      64,865         4.2          107,323          7.0          250,603         5.6          279,507          6.7
Provision for income taxes            22,160         1.5           47,290          3.1          102,353         2.3          117,032          2.8

Income from continuing
operations                            42,705         2.7           60,033          3.9          148,250         3.3          162,475          3.9
Income from discontinued
operations, net of income
taxes                                     -           -                -            -                -           -            16,911          0.4

Net income                            42,705         2.7           60,033          3.9          148,250         3.3          179,386          4.3
Less: Net income (loss)
attributable to
non-controlling interests              2,996         0.1           (3,774 )       (0.3 )          5,693         0.1           19,987          0.5

Net income attributable to
CBRE Group, Inc.                 $    39,709         2.6 %    $    63,807          4.2 %    $   142,557         3.2 %    $   159,399          3.8 %

EBITDA (1)                       $   163,553        10.5 %    $   178,992         11.7 %    $   515,891        11.4 %    $   458,131         11.1 %

EBITDA, as adjusted (1)          $   195,346        12.5 %    $   194,802         12.7 %    $   566,782        12.6 %    $   487,724         11.8 %

(1) Includes EBITDA related to discontinued operations of $1.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011.

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EBITDA represents earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, while amounts shown for EBITDA, as adjusted, remove the impact of certain cash and non-cash charges related to acquisitions, cost containment and asset impairments. Our management believes that both of these measures are useful in evaluating our operating performance compared to that of other companies in our industry because the calculations of EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, generally eliminate the effects of financing and income taxes and the accounting effects of capital spending and acquisitions, which would include impairment charges of goodwill and intangibles created from acquisitions. Such items may vary for different companies for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance. As a result, our management uses these measures to evaluate operating performance and for other discretionary purposes, including as a significant component when measuring our operating performance under our employee incentive programs. Additionally, we believe EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, are useful to investors to assist them in getting a more complete picture of our results from operations.

However, EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, are not recognized measurements under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, and when analyzing our operating performance, readers should use EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, in addition to, and not as an alternative for, net income as determined in accordance with GAAP. Because not all companies use identical calculations, our presentation of EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, are not intended to be measures of free cash flow for our management's discretionary use, as they do not consider certain cash requirements such as tax and debt service payments. The amounts shown for EBITDA and EBITDA, as adjusted, also differ from the amounts calculated under similarly titled definitions in our debt instruments, which are further adjusted to reflect certain other cash and non-cash charges and are used to determine compliance with financial . . .

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