Property agents Savills yesterday said the Birmingham office had enjoyed a bumper year.

It reported a 30 per cent rise in annual profits, helped by a strong rebound in high-end residential markets in the final quarter.

That was sufficient to earn staff a combined bonus pool of £84 million, up from £79.4 last year, with 90 per cent of employees set to benefit.

A spokesman would not comment how much the topearners would receive - but last year bonuses and commissions worth more than £250,000 were paid to 40 agents. The company has 79 UK offices out of 125 worldwide.

Savills' commercial division is working on major regeneration flagship schemes in the West Midlands.

It is also embroiled in the "supercasino war" between the Birmingham City Football Club and NEC Group schemes - it is advising on the latter.

In Birmingham's Eastside it is acting on the mixed-use Curzon Park and City Park Gate developments.

On the industrial side, the agency team secured Tesco's acquisition of 750,000 sq ft of warehousing at DIRFT, a Severn Trent development at Crick in Northamptonshire.

It is also advising on high profile distribution projects such as Logix Park in Hinkley, EMDC at Castle Donington, Midpoint Park in Birmingham, and First Point at Burton-on-Trent.

The group said Birmingham had been expanded with a series of key appointments to the investment, development and management teams - they are acting on over 2,000 acres of sites.

Barry Allen, head of Savills' Birmingham office, said: "It has been an extremely successful 12 months with expansions, large deals and new instructions.

"The creation of a dedicated development funding team of Hapri Yorke-Brooks and myself, the expansion of our management team with the appointment of Nigel Lea and Duncan Lowe, and the appointment of Tim Doughty as director, principally undertaking development work, have widened our resource.

"More recently, Jonothan Holmes has joined from London as head of investment for the Midlands area."

Mr Allen continued: "On the offices side, we advised (lawyers) Anthony Collins on their acquisition of 35,000 sq ft at 134 Edmund Street in Birmingham and were retained to complete the fit-out.

"We are acting on Blythe Valley Park in Solihull for British Land, and Tournament Fields for Sackville Properties in Warwickshire, both of which are huge schemes.

"We will continue to expand our team with key appointments in core areas of business and we expect to continue our success in 2006."

Underlying pretax profit increased to £57.2 million from £43.9 million in 2004. The figures exclude profits on disposals, a share-based payment adjustment, amortisation and goodwill.

Pretax profit edged ahead to £58.6 million from £58.3 million.

Underlying revenue, excluding trading property sales, grew 18 per cent to £373.9 million.

"Confidence in investment markets remains strong and the residential prime markets are resilient," said chairman Peter Smith. "We are confident that the group is well placed to have a satisfactory 2006."

The company plans to pay a final dividend of 16 pence a share, up from 12.5p in 2004.