Manchester law firm DWF post-IPO trading ‘strong’

Manchester-headquartered international law firm DWF on Monday issued a trading update for its financial year ended April 30, 2019, following the company’s IPO on March 15, 2019.

DWF said its international business in particular has shown extremely strong revenue growth.

“DWF has continued to record strong revenue growth with FY19 revenue expected to grow by not less than 15%, delivering growth across each of its divisions in line with the company’s medium term targets,” said DWF.

“International has seen the strongest growth in the period with revenue increasing by more than 70%, while Connected Services saw growth in FY19 in excess of 20%.

“Insurance and Commercial Services also delivered strong organic growth of in excess of 5%, in line with guidance.  

“The company’s EBITDA margin (calculated on an adjusted proforma basis) was in line with management’s expectations leading to good profit growth, in absolute terms, year on year.

“This has been driven from improvement in divisional gross profit margins and in the cost to income ratio. 

“The company’s year-end net debt was in line with management’s expectations at £35.1m …

“As detailed in its prospectus, the company expects to pay a full-year dividend of £3m, subject to shareholder approval, in September 2019 and to pay further dividends thereafter in line with its stated dividend policy.”

In its outlook, the firm said: “DWF has had a solid start to the new financial year and the company is confident that it will continue to deliver further revenue and EBITDA growth in line with the company’s medium term targets.

“The company expects to deliver continued organic growth as well as bolt on acquisition opportunities.”

DWF CEO Andrew Leaitherland said: “This has been another year of strong financial performance across our business, including good organic growth rates in our insurance and commercial services divisions and double-digit growth in Connected Services and International, providing a firm foundation on which to begin life as a public company. 

“Our international business in particular has shown extremely strong revenue growth. In this new financial year, we have already built upon our success by delivering on an international expansion opportunity highlighted in our prospectus, through the transaction to acquire the legal services business of K&L Gates Jamka in Poland. 

“Since our IPO in March, we have also further expanded in Australia through the acquisition of FT Adjusting, a Connected Services business, and the hire of seven principal lawyers from the Melbourne law firm, WARD Lawyers.”

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Mark McSherry
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