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Cushman & Wakefield plc Ordinary Shares (CWK) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool


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Cushman & Wakefield plc Ordinary Shares (CWK -3.79%)
Q2 2022 Earnings Call
Aug 04, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Welcome to Cushman & Wakefield’s second quarter 2022 earnings conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions].

It is now my pleasure to introduce Len Texter, head of investor relations, global controller, and chief accounting officer for Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Texter, you may begin the conference.

Len TexterHead of Investor Relations, Global Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer

Thank you and welcome again to Cushman & Wakefield’s second quarter 2022 earnings conference call. Earlier today, we issued a press release announcing our financial results for the period. This release, along with today’s presentation can be found on our investor relations website at ir.cushmanwakefield.com. Please turn to the page labeled cautionary note on forward-looking statements.

Today’s presentation contains forward-looking statements based on our current forecasts and estimates of future events. These statements should be considered estimates only, and actual results may differ materially. During today’s call, we referred to non-GAAP financial measures as outlined by SCC guidelines. Reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures, definitions of non-GAAP financial measures, and other related information are found within the financial tables of our earnings release and appendix of today’s presentation Also, please note that throughout the presentation, comparison and growth rates are comparable periods of 2021 and are in local currency unless otherwise stated.

For those of you following along with our presentation, we would begin on Page 4. With that, I like to turn the call over to our CEO, John Forrester.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Thank you, Len, and thank you to everybody joining our call today. I am pleased to announce another exceptionally strong quarter of earnings. We’ve posted record results for the second quarter reporting fee revenue of $1.9 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $263 million reflecting year-over-year growth of 21% and 23% respectively. Over the last 12 months, we have now delivered 27% revenue growth, adjusted EBITDA growth of 64%, and margin expansion of approximately 315 basis points.

The strength of our comprehensive, diverse, and resilient global service offering is evident in our performance, and highlights the progress we have made in our multi-year strategy of prioritizing investment in the long term growth sectors of our industry. Our focus to grow our company, create value, and generate strong performance is unwavering, and our performance this quarter reflected it. In terms of service line performance, recurring revenues in our property, facility, and project management service line continue to generate very pleasing growth for both occupier and investor clients, increasing 16% in the second quarter year-over-year. These services comprise nearly half of our total fee revenue and historically have proven to be increasingly resilient through times of volatility.  In fact, we’ve seen clients often accelerate strategic decision making in harsher economic environments.

Our project management business has also grown significantly, up 45% in the second quarter versus prior year, as occupiers and investors alike reevaluate their post-COVID occupancy requirements and sustainability objectives. On our last earnings call, I noted that project management, like many of our operations, benefit from client activity, not just incremental changes in the amount of space occupied, and this pickup in activity can be seen in our growth. In addition, our global occupier outsourcing platform continues to win mandates of increasing scale, as clients turn to Cushman & Wakefield to help reduce costs and drive further real estate operating efficiencies within their organizations. Our leasing business has been strong through the first half.

In the office sector, the leasing environment continues to improve steadily. U.S. office using employment increased 1.9%, adding 635,000 jobs in the first half. There are now 1 million more office using workers in the U.S.

as of June 2022 than prior to the commencement of the pandemic. And as we know, more jobs over time means more demand for all types of useful space, particularly office. And more broadly, global office leasing activity continues its recovery, as preliminary data shows an increase of 21% in the first half of 2022 over prior year, while about 50% of office markets globally registered positive demand for office space in the first half. Part of this growth and recovery is attributable to the emergence of areas like life sciences, which now represents around 10% of all U.S.

leasing. Lastly, within the office sector, we continue to observe other trends consistent with pre-pandemic norms. Specifically, the split of new leases versus short term renewals and average lease lengths are both reverting back to pre-pandemic levels. The industrial logistics sector continues to perform strongly given the persistent supply demand imbalance driven by the secular ramp in e-commerce activity.

As of the second quarter, US vacancy rates are at a new record low of 3.1% and rental growth increased 19% year-over-year. Through the first half of the year, the market has absorbed over 236 million square feet, which is broadly in line with the record setting levels of 2021. At the start of this year, many commentators reflected concerns that the logistics market would face supply shortages. The fact that some high profile occupiers have pushed base back into the market has provided other actual active tenants the opportunity to participate.

In terms of capital markets, fundamentals, capital inflows to the commercial real estate sector remain elevated given the general attractiveness of real estate assets across multiple sectors, despite rising interest rates. As evidenced by real capital analytics, U.S. transaction volumes are $190 billion, up 17% for the second quarter and above pre-COVID levels. Additionally, Cushman & Wakefield continues to take share with our transaction volumes rising 116 basis points in the quarter compared to prior year.

Our strategic investments made over recent years in those property sectors, which we believe would benefit from outsized growth, are reflected in our strong performance and will continue to drive further value for our clients and shareholders. We are capitalizing on the growth in the U.S. multifamily sector by building an industry leading multifamily full service platform with further opportunity for continued growth globally. The asset class landscape is evolving.

According to OCA, multifamily comprised about 45% of the overall U.S. capital transaction volume in the quarter. While our business continues to perform with deep rooted momentum, we have at least not yet seen material evidence of changing client behavior. However, we are monitoring the changing macroeconomic environment and growing uncertainty closely.

While there are areas within our industry that may be impacted by economic volatility, we continue to see strength across the fundamentals of our portfolio. In addition, I would reiterate that we continue to build our capabilities and scale in key sectors where expansion is anticipated, despite the potential of more difficult economic environments ahead. Areas such as life sciences, biotechnology, and data centers. This all positions Cushman & Wakefield better than at any time in our history, regardless of economic environment.

In addition, our exceptional leaders and dedicated teams in the field continue to deliver exceptional service every day to our clients around the world. I would like to highlight a couple of examples that illustrate both our leadership in the industry, but also the exceptional performance of our teams. Cushman & Wakefield is among the first group of companies to have its net zero target approved by the SBTi’s recently launched Net Zero Corporate Standard, the world’s first framework for corporate net zero target setting in line with climate science. This is an important progression of our long standing commitment to sustainability and our journey to take bold action for the future of our firm, our industry, and society.

Our European, Middle East, and Africa operations have long been a center of excellence and leadership in the many diverse and unique markets found in the region. But I am particularly pleased to congratulate our talented leaders in their discipline and focus, which has resulted in our business achieving industry leading earnings and profit margins. Finally, I’d like to touch on our capital allocation framework. We are continuously weighing the most attractive returns to drive shareholder value.

Our continuous improvement initiatives, highly accretive M&A record, and our talent recruiting capabilities alongside our strong balance sheet have positioned us extremely well. We will continue to deploy capital to the most accretive areas as opportunities presented themselves, whether that be through service to market expansion or back to our shareholders. We remain confident about the performance of the business and our progress against our strategy in the ever expanding market for our services. And with that, I’d like to turn the call to Neil to discuss our financial performance.

Neil?

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Thank you, John. And good afternoon, everyone. Overall, the momentum in our markets continued through the second quarter, and I’m pleased to report that we delivered a record results for both the second quarter and the first half of the year. For the second quarter, revenue of $1.9 billion grew 21% over prior year, and adjusted EBITDA of 263 million grew 23% over prior year, resulting in an adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.7%.

Our margin for the quarter reflects strong revenue growth, particularly in brokerage, and also includes equity investment in our Greystone joint venture. Partially offsetting these trends was the impact of COVID related lockdowns in China, as well as our continued focus on balanced investments in our business to support future growth. On a trailing 12-month basis, our margin of 13.9% represents just under 100 basis points of expansion from the end of 2021. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter was $0.63, an increase of 26% versus prior year.

Taking a look at our fee revenue by service line in the second quarter, leasing and capital markets increased 24% and 33% respectively. Leasing fee revenue exceeded pre-pandemic levels, increasing 14% over the second quarter of 2019. We continue to see improvement in the Americas office sector as well as ongoing strength in the industrial logistics sector, with demand outpacing supply for the seventh quarter in a row in capital markets despite higher interest rates. Investment appetite remains strong with near-record levels of available capital, particularly in the Americas, where all property sectors reported growth.

As can be seen in our strong growth this quarter, the investments we have made in fast growing sectors like industrials and multifamily continue to be important growth drivers for the business. Given the long term secular trends. The performance across our entire premium food service offering was again strong this quarter, particularly in our project and facilities management businesses with PM/FM evaluation and other service lines up 16% and 8% respectively. Turning to our segment results for the quarter.

Americas fee revenue was up 22% year-over-year, driven by strong performance across all service lines. Leasing and capital markets improved 31% and 29% respectively year over year. Total leasing was above 2019 pre-pandemic levels, while the office sector was generally in line with 2019 pre-pandemic levels. For the second quarter, adjusted EBITDA of 211 million, improved $53 million versus prior year, principally due to the performance of our brokerage business and our Greystone joint venture, which performed in line with our expectations for the second quarter.

In a mere revenue growth of 22% was driven by growth across all service lines. Leasing and capital markets grew 21% and 56% respectively, with broad based growth across nearly all markets and sectors. We generated adjusted EBITDA of $35 million, up 29% versus prior year, which reflects strong brokerage activity and continued focus on cost discipline. It is worth pointing out that our mere business has performed exceptionally well throughout our strategic realignment and multi-year transformation, growing margins more than 300 basis points over the last 12 months, a testament to the exceptional teams we have in the region.

In APAC, revenue growth of 11% was driven by the performance of our PM/FM and service line, which grew 22% for the quarter, partially offsetting this growth with declines in our leasing business of 15% versus prior year, which is principally driven by the impact of COVID related lockdowns in China. As a result, adjusted EBITDA was down 40% versus prior year. Moving to our balance sheet. Our financial position remains strong.

We ended the second quarter with $1.6 billion of liquidity consisting of cash on hand, a $477 million, and availability on our revolving credit facility of $1.1 billion. We had no outstanding borrowings on our revolver. Net leverage was 2.6 times at the end of the second quarter, unchanged from the first quarter. We are well positioned to continue to fund both operations and investments and have an active pipeline of investment opportunities which we are constantly evaluating.

As John mentioned, we will continue to deploy capital in the areas that provide the most accretive returns to our shareholders. In conclusion, we are encouraged with the performance of our entire portfolio for the first half of the year. We have a diverse global business that is capitalizing on secular growth trends. While the first half performance was similar to the momentum we saw last year, we do recognize that we are now balancing the second half of the year with a differing macroeconomic backdrop, specifically in capital markets, where we expect second half comparisons to be challenging given the performance delivered a year ago.

Consistent with our typical practice, we have not providing an update to our full year 2022 guidance, we will revisit after the third quarter. Our business model has proven to be very resilient over an entire cycle and our diversified revenue streams, disciplined cost management, and recent investments in growth sectors provide us with greater confidence as we head into this period of economic uncertainty. We believe we are well-positioned to manage through any number of scenarios and continue to deliver value to our clients and our shareholders. With that, I’ll turn the call back to our operator for the Q&A portion of today’s call.

Questions & Answers:

Operator

We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions]. Our first question will come from Anthony Paolone with J.P. Morgan.

You may now go ahead.

Tony PaoloneJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

Thanks. Good afternoon, everyone. Maybe I’ll start with you. I understand not wanting to address guidance and tell us a little more clarity on the fourth quarter.

But just looking at the PM/FM business, if we go back to your original guidance, they’re being up, I think, mid-single digits for the year. It’s just been running stronger. Just wondering, it’s one of the more stable businesses, a little bit less seasonality. And it’s — what’s keeping that from potentially being stronger than mid-single digits this year?

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Anthony, it’s a great question, and certainly we’ve been exceptionally pleased with the performance of that business through the first half of the year. Some of it is the timing of contracts as they come into the business. So I’d encourage you to look at a slightly longer run. So if you look at the last nine to 12 months, that still is very strong performance.

And we would expect that high level momentum to continue as we look through the back half of the year. As you said, it’s resilient to to economic conditions are certainly something we’re very pleased with.

Tony PaoloneJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

OK.  And then, John, you’ve been in the seat now for a couple of quarters. Just curious if you could update us on how you’re thinking about your growth priorities and any parts of the business that have struck you as needing more or less attention now?

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Hi, Tony. Well, I think I said this on the last call, which is, yes I’m new in chair but I’ve sat around the table and been in the room with Neil and Brett on these calls for an awful long time and been involved with the build of our portfolio. I’m really pleased with how the multi-year strategy of this secular lean in of our investment and resource builders is showing up. We’ve always been a very strong, globally diverse business.

More so on the transactional side going back five to seven years. But as you touched on the first question with Neil, the really strong build year-over-year that we’ve seen in our recurring revenue business is a really exceptional margin. Growth in those businesses is very pleasing. One thing we are keeping an eye on, though, is how we go in the second half.

And we’ve already begun to do what we do really well here at Cushman & Wakefield, which is be very, very careful about how we use every dollar in the company. And so for me, that’s where our real heavy focus lies today.

Tony PaoloneJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

Is — does that create a priority in terms of your cash, cash usage between hiring, you know, debt reduction, stock buyback, M&A? Anything you can address there?

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

I think on the best as you laid out, there are three or four areas. It’s exactly how we think about it. We look at each area with a myopic view that we continue to want to hire into those secular growth areas, but wait at global connectivity. And then the flipside of being very careful on those sectors where there’s less growth overall is what drive the portfolio richness and diversity.

That means that if we are going to go into any form of downturn globally as, I think, as a company, we’re going to go in as a very different business than any prior downturn, much stronger, more strongly, much more resilient than before.

Tony PaoloneJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

OK. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from Chandni Luthra with Goldman Sachs. You may now go ahead.

Chandni LuthraGoldman Sachs — Analyst

Hi. Good afternoon, and thank you for taking my question. So I would like to continue with the last question that was just ask. So if we do go into a recession, help us understand what levers do you have to pull? And in — how do you think you are a different company now versus, say, 2020? I completely understand it was a black swan event.

It wasn’t really a traditional recession. But just help us understand, what levers do you have to pull in order to make up to manage your cost structure?

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Chandni, and thank you for the question. We — if you go back only in the short period to late 2019, we first started talking about the opportunity that we had as an organization to lean into significant cost withdrawal. We said to the markets we’d take upwards of $250 million of a fixed long term cost out of the company. And we have done that.

And we’re still coming to the very back end of that tale of cost out. It’s a big part of our margin story. It’s also a very big part of how we look at — as a management team running the business. So you’ve got the fixed costs, you’ve got variables that sit in the market, such as travel, marketing, research, support, all of which we can pull down on a sector by sector, location by location basis and ensure that we’re not allowing any part of the business to either be starved of resources for growth, which is critical as much of our portfolio will continue to grow through a downturn.

But also, we will be very sharp on cost, as we always have been in any other area which sees less than positive growth. But as a global business, upwards of 54,000 colleagues now, I believe, that’s a large portfolio upon which you have many, many levers to pull on cost. And our management team globally — I can’t overemphasize this enough. Our management team globally is highly match fit in this area of management. 

Chandni LuthraGoldman Sachs — Analyst

OK. I appreciate that, that color. And switching gears to the outlook for PMS and business a little bit in — just thinking about that in the event of the recession. One thing we’ve kind of you guys have talked about in the past, in these last two years, has been that cross-selling opportunities have been something that bodes very well.

You get these good transactions and then you have opportunities to cross-sell PMS. And within that, how should we think about the outlook for PMS and — in the event of a tougher economic setup.?

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

I think you’re very sure we will continue to have high expectations of growth through whatever economic scenario we see out there other than something that’s entirely unforeseen. In the prepared remarks, I’ve touched on the reality that in downturns, the outsourcing business actually tends to expand pretty strongly as our client base themselves seek cost shelter through working with an organization that’s got the scale of a Cushman & Wakefield to take on board their services and drive value. So again, the portfolio, the diversity of our business is absolutely our strength.

Chandni LuthraGoldman Sachs — Analyst

Got it. Thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question will come from Michael Griffin with Citi. You may now go ahead.

Michael GriffinCiti — Analyst

Thanks. Maybe just a touch on inflation for a second. And I’d be curious to see sort of where you’re feeling the effects of inflation sort of most across your business lines. And what’s the best way you found to sort of mitigate the effects?

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Yes. Michael. Great question. Look, inflation, while it does impact the business, is not one of the material factors that drives the business.

And the reason is inflation really impacts the PMF business most. But the majority of our contracts have inflation adjusted or contracts that are cost plus. And so while inflation is certainly something we’re watching closely, we don’t see it as a material risk to the business as we go forward.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

We’ve been very active around our our employment cost inflation, I think, as everybody has been, particularly in the private sectors. But I just focus on one additional point. We are not exposed to, say, the real estate development market, the direct development market, where we will be taking on any risk of construction cost inflation, for instance. So that’s not a business that we’re in and have any risk in.

Michael GriffinCiti — Analyst

Got you. That’s helpful. I appreciate the color on that. Maybe switching gears to the to the office leasing side of things, your commentary seem relatively more positive, definitely compared to sort of what the sentiments sort of been in the space as recent.

I’m curious if you’re getting a sense of kind of what kind of tenants you’re seeing drive a lot of this demand, if it’s any specific sectors, geographies. Any additional comment there would be helpful.

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Delighted to. Michael, I’ll start by reiterating something that Brett and I have actually both said on on earnings calls, which is we did expect it to be through 2024 before the office market on a like-for-like basis came back to pre-pandemic levels. And we still feel we’re right on track for that to occur. So while our office revenues are now our office defined revenues are substantially higher than pre-pandemic levels.

We’ve seen an expansion within that on what you might call the alternatives, like biotechnology, life sciences, which largely come out of office, the prior use office is going into that type of use or just are defined as such within our calculations. So expansion most certainly in these secular growth areas. And there’s a flow around the world of tech drove the last seven to eight  years now. Techs a little bit on the back foot particularly large tech is a little bit on the back foot.

Professional services growing strongly in the office sector globally. And I think what we’re seeing and I’d point back to getting a fundamental that I continue to reiterate, it’s not the amount of space that is utilized, primarily, that drives our revenues, it’s the activity within the sector.  And we’re beginning to see this accelerated pickup in activity driven by environmental sustainable issues. So much of the office stock globally is obsolete and organizations are now highly focused on upgrading quality of their accommodation, irrespective of the fact they may or may not have a lease event or at least expiry in the near term. So it’s the activity levels are driving the general office sector and high growth coming from the secular growth trend areas.

Michael GriffinCiti — Analyst

Got you. Thanks, guys. Appreciate the time.

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Thanks you.

Operator

Our next question will come from Ronald Kamdem with Morgan Stanley. You may now go ahead.

Ronald KamdemMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Right. Just taking on the office leasing classes. If I could ask the different ways, is there a way to break it out, whether big or small user or by sectors? Or is it sort of all across the board the activity that you’re seeing? Thanks.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

So I’d say there is activity across the board, but between each tier of quality of office, it’s a different type of activity. So core high class office is performing outstandingly well, not just in the absorption rates globally, but also in true rental growth. Again, I think a lot of that is about the return to the office, a high performing environment, organizations wanting to give their their staff something to come back to, as well as the environmental sustainability focus. And as you get away from that high quality down to the poorer quality, you’re getting this obsolescence factor coming into the B and C, where ultimately there may be no ready market.

So the buildings go into the redevelopment portfolios and become something else. There’s a very agile market out there globally that repurposing buildings for different uses and moving away from the traditional office, let’s say, to repurposing them for whether it’s laboratory space for the the life sciences or even moving into multifamily. The repurposing of space is driving the activity in the in the B and C sector, certainly the C sector. Does that answer the question?

Ronald KamdemMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s really helpful. That’s all I had. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator instructions]. Our next question will come from Stephen Sheldon with William Blair. You may now go ahead.

Pat McIlweeWilliam Blair and Company — Analyst

Hey, good afternoon. This is actually Pat McIlwee on for Stephen. So first of all, the the $3 million step up in interest expense this quarter I thought was pretty modest, given, give or take 3 billion in floating rate debt. Is there any detail you can provide on your hedging activities there, or any context you can give us as we think about how that might trend?  

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Yes, sure. But we are actually in pretty good shape. So in addition to the senior notes which are fixed, about 75% of our net debt is actually fixed with interest rate swaps. So only about 25% is floating.

And so that’s why you’re seeing less of an impact of high interest cost. We feel like we are in good shape.

Pat McIlweeWilliam Blair and Company — Analyst

Great. OK. And then can you just elaborate a little bit on what you saw in APAC during the quarter? Obviously not a huge piece of the business, but C revenue grew around 11%, constant currency. But the regional EBITDA obviously took quite a big step back.

I’m sure there’s a variety of factors at play there, but just any additional color would be helpful.  

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Yes. I would say it’s primarily a mix issue, actually, because we saw strong growth in our PM/FM service line, which drove the top line of APAC really nicely. But where we saw the constrain, which has Neil said in his prepared remarks, was in the area on the whole, centered in China, centered in leasing and brokerage, relating to largely the whole quarter being in one form of lockdown or another. The margin within that was is very healthy.

And therefore, when that type of business falls away a little bit, the margin is not replaced by simply the type of growth we’ve seen in PM/FM, that China is going to come back, it will be active again, recurring revenue business will continue to grow, as we said. So actually we feel very good about the prospects for APAC, although we know we’re very sensitive to when the timing of China’s return will actually show up now.

Pat McIlweeWilliam Blair and Company — Analyst

Understood. And then if I could sneak one — quick one in here. Can you just provide an update on what your pipelines are looking like in capital markets and leasing?

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

OK. I’ll start with the leasing, first of all. And again, you the sophistication of the markets means you have to look at each used class separately because the dynamics that are driving each use class are different. I start with retail actually, which is something that is not being spoken about by us or our peers for quite some time.

We’re in our fourth quarter of material revenue growth in retail globally, which signals signals a real U-turn in that long- term reduction as physical retail was really put back to the market, primarily. Retail developers, owners, and occupiers have found I their way to the future. There’s a real a keen understanding that retail is going to remain a big part of the shopper experience. And the retail — physical retail itself needs upgrading, and that’s a lot of activity for us and our teams around the world in doing that.

So the pipeline for retail is growing and looks strong. Industrial, for us, we went into COVID with as much as 65% of our leasing revenues coming from office. We can certainly see a longer term mix is closer to 50 or even slightly below as the strength in industrial and alternative use comes through very strongly. And as I said in the prepared remarks, industrial leasing continues based on the secular trend.

So we feel good about the pipeline now and the worries of the simply there being no real estate to acquire for our tenants isn’t the case of some of the major global platforms but space back to the market. Office [Inaudible] something that I’ve talked about already and it’s many, many layers to office. Interestingly, this year we have a very relatively high level of lease expiries globally, are only around about 8% of leases come mature every year, so 92% is captive. But we had a lot of leases where the can was kicked down the road over the last two to three years because of the pandemic and the uncertainty in the office market.

So tenants were taking new one-year or two-year leases. So therefore we’ve got quite a lot of opportunity this year, and I tend to look at that as a as a positive because as I continue to reiterate, it’s the activity in the market of moving a client from A to B, agreeing a new lease, even if it’s on a slightly smaller footprint, they’re all revenue opportunities. So the pipeline then the office market driven by this — just the transparent level of expiries is relatively good. I’m sure your question meant a little bit to capital markets ultimately, and I think for us looking at our continually strong performance in capital markets.

But to me, it seems that the client behavior, whether that’s buyers or sellers, is based on the fact that the headwinds, whether that’s interest rate increases, the supply chain issues, inflation, energy costs, all of these have headwinds spinning around. They have been well known and understood now for upwards of six months. So the transactions that we’re seeing going ahead tend to be based on strong deals with sophisticated buyers and sellers, and whether there’s a redeployment of capital either by sector, by price point, we do continue to see the market moving forward. So I wouldn’t to an extent call the callers in a pause, pauses, a very strong word.

But what I would say is there’s a lot of people being very careful about where they put their capital. And finally, pipelines, it really depends what you’re asking the question of. Is it about capital available to be deployed or is it about the amount of real estate for sale? Because when you have a [Inaudible] spread, which has been mentioned by a number of our peers on their calls this week, it depends which question you’re asking. So, yes, there’s a lot of respect for sale at the moment, but the buyer market globally is not necessarily aligned with the sale process.

So the pipeline really depends on whether you’re talking about record levels of real estate for sale or still record levels of capital to be deployed the price to be found.

Pat McIlweeWilliam Blair and Company — Analyst

Right. OK. Well, I apologize for calling that a quick one, but that was really, really helpful. So thank you, John.

And thanks, Neil. That’s all for me.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Next question will come from Patrick O’Shaughnessy with Raymond James. You may now go ahead.

David FarnumRaymond James — Analyst

Hey, guys, it’s actually David Farnum on for Patrick. I wanted to start with more of a strategic question for John. Cushman’s name keeps coming — keeps getting thrown around as a potential buyer. So maybe regardless of whether or not these stories have any merit.

As currently composed, do you feel that Cushman has the scale you need to achieve the margin targets and the strategic objectives that you aspire?

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Yes, it’s a good question. It’s something we think about a lot as we consider our deployment of capital. We have a — as an organization, we have delivered really, really pleasing results quarter over quarter over quarter. So I would say that our journey to the types of margins that we’ve been sharing with [Inaudible] — share in the market with since the IPO is well on target and we have obviously the scale to achieve that.

So strategically, I like the growing nature of our organization, the growing diversity of our portfolio, the growing resilience of our earnings. But I also ultimately see this industry as one which has further consolidation opportunities large, small, and mid-sized globally. And so we want to remain particularly active on the M&A front as we see opportunities to deploy our capital with higher accretive returns than the other uses we might put it to from time to time.

David FarnumRaymond James — Analyst

Got it. That’s the question. Yes, that that helps. And then maybe switching gears to the WeWork partnership, but I was wondering if you could update us on the migration of the facilities management contractor, WeWork.

I believe that started in the second quarter. Can you speak to how the roll out of that contract impacted the sequential acceleration in the PM/FM line? And then maybe as a clarification, is that contract fully ramped up in the facilities management business, or is that role happening over the next couple of quarters? Thanks.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

So with the we don’t talk to specific contracts in the — we mentioned that that was something we were fortunate to win through the investment in WeWork last year, but we don’t talk to the specific machinations of each contract. What I would say is that contract was well understood. We looked at the expected performance of our global outsourcing business in FM business this year, and that everything is going extremely well.

David FarnumRaymond James — Analyst

Great. And then just the clarification on, is that fully ramped now or is that rolling on over the next couple?

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

I wouldn’t speak to whether it’s entirely and fully run because it is a progressive run, but I haven’t checked that out and I’ll get back to you.

David FarnumRaymond James — Analyst

All right. Great. Thank you very much.

Operator

This concludes our question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the call back over to John Forester for any closing remarks.

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Thank you, and thanks to everyone who joined Neil and I on the call today and also for the questions. We look forward to speaking with you all again in three months time. Bye-bye.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 0 minutes

Call participants:

Len TexterHead of Investor Relations, Global Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer

John ForresterChief Executive Officer

Neil JohnstonChief Financial Officer

Tony PaoloneJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

Chandni LuthraGoldman Sachs — Analyst

Michael GriffinCiti — Analyst

Ronald KamdemMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Pat McIlweeWilliam Blair and Company — Analyst

David FarnumRaymond James — Analyst

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