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Jones Lang to Cut U.K. Jobs After Debt Crisis Crimps Demand

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the world’s second-largest publicly traded real-estate broker, plans to cut jobs at its U.K. business after the European debt crisis crimped demand for some of the company’s services.

Jones Lang’s London hotels business, facility-management service, U.K. and pan-European business support operations were hurt by the crisis, U.K. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gould said in a note to employees today. He cited a business review carried out by the Chicago-based company.

“We have had to make the extremely difficult, but necessary decision to make a number of redundancies within our U.K.-based teams,” Gould said in the note, which was also signed by U.K. Executive Chairman Richard Batten and Steve Cresswell, chief financial officer for Europe and the Middle East.

The U.K. economy is at growing risk of returning to recession with unemployment at a 15-year high and the threat of the euro area falling apart roiling financial markets. While the U.K. faces “significant headwinds” from the crisis, the economy maintained its growth pace in the three months through October, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said today.

Jones Lang bought London-based King Sturge LLP for 197 million pounds ($317 million) in May to become the U.K.’s largest broker. The company, which employs about 2,700 people across the country, didn’t say how many jobs will be cut.

‘Circumstances Dictate’

“We can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly,” Gould said. “Current economic circumstances dictate that, unfortunately, it would have been made whether we were operating as two separate companies or, as we are now, as one.”

Jones Lang fell as much as 2.9 percent in composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were down 38 cents, or less than 1 percent, at $64.34 at 12:36 p.m.

The company’s revenue in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region was $247.3 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, a 38 percent increase from the year earlier period, according to a Nov. 2 Jones Lang statement.

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