A buoyant UK residential property market helped property services company Savills report a 56% increase in interim pre-tax profit

Group profit before tax shot up to £31m for the first six months to 30 June 2006, compared with £19.9m over the same period last year. Group revenue grew 33% to £211m, up from £158m.

Savills made a number of acquisitions in the first half of the year. It paid £8.4m for a 50% stake in Korean Asset Advisors and BHP Korea. It also acquired Irish firm Hamilton Osborne King for £40m.

Peter Smith, chairman said: “We are confident of achieving a good result for the full year.”