Aim: Approximately 25% of the patients with colorectal cancer already have liver metastases at diagnosis and another 30% will develop them subsequently. The features and prognosis of patients with synchronous and metachronus colorectal liver metastases, treated with primary resection first followed by partial liver resection were analysed. Method: Curative staged resection of liver metastases was performed in 272 consecutive patients. Demographics, characteristics of the primary tumour and metastatic tumours, surgery-related data and outcome were analysed. Results: Synchronous metastases were present in 105 (39%) patients and metachronous metastases in 167 (61%). More patients in the synchronous group had an advanced primary tumour (T3/T4 and/or node positivity), more than three liver metastases and bilobar distribution. A significantly higher percentage of patients in the synchronous group received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The 5-year survival rate in the group of 272 patients was 38%. Patients with more than three metastases had a significantly worse survival rate. There were no differences in disease-free and overall survival rates between the synchronous and metachronous group. Conclusion: Although patients with synchronous colorectal liver metastases may have poorer biological features, there was no difference in 5-year disease-free and overall survival compared with patients with metachronous metastases. This may be explained by the observation that patients in the synchronous group received significantly more neoadjuvant chemotherapy.