Shares of Manchester-based corporate rescue firm Begbies Traynor Group plc rose about 9% on Thursday after it published an AGM trading statement saying it achieved double digit growth in revenue and profit in the first quarter of the new financial year that started on May 1, 2021.
Begbies Traynor executive chairman Ric Traynor told the AGM: “Last year was one of real progress for the group, in which we delivered a strong financial performance, representing another year of growth in revenue and adjusted profits despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst making substantial investments which significantly increased the scale of the group and its capabilities.
“Over the last four financial years, we have delivered compound annual growth in adjusted earnings per share of 20%, including 10% organic growth.
“Over the same period, we have moved from net debt of £10.3m to net cash of £3.0m at the year end, whilst making value-enhancing acquisitions and delivering 8% compound growth in dividend per share.
“In the first quarter of the new financial year, commencing 1 May 2021, we have achieved double digit growth in revenue and profit reflecting the benefit of our recent acquisitions and the bounce back in activity from last year’s lockdowns.
“At this early stage of the financial year, we remain confident of delivering market expectations for the full year.”
The current range of analyst forecasts for the company’s adjusted profit before tax are £17 million to £18.5 million.
Traynor added: “In business recovery and financial advisory, the acquisitions completed in the previous financial year (CVR Global and David Rubin & Partners, acquired in January and March 2021, respectively) are performing well, in line with expectations.
“As reported in July, at the time of the group’s final results, integration activity has been completed as planned.
“As we have previously reported, the insolvency market has been suppressed over the last 18 months due to Government support measures.
“However, since May 2021 the Insolvency Service has reported month on month increases in insolvency appointments nationally.
“We expect this trajectory will continue in the final quarter of this calendar year (the second half of our financial year), as the support measures are progressively removed.
“The MAF Finance Group acquisition (completed in May 2021) is also performing well and in line with expectations, with synergy and cross selling opportunities being identified as the business is integrated into the group.
“Our property advisory and transactional services division is performing well, achieving year on year growth in revenue and profit from a more normalised trading performance compared to the lockdown impacted comparative period.
“The HNG chartered surveyors’ acquisition (completed in February 2021) is performing in line with expectations with integration on target for completion during the first half of our financial year.
“We were delighted with the support we received from both new and existing institutional and retail shareholders for our share placing in March 2021.
“The fundraise of £22m was significantly oversubscribed and provided the funding for both the DRP acquisition and future investments.
“Overall, the group remains in a very strong position.
“Our increased scale and capabilities provide us with the ability to continue to assist UK businesses as the economy recovers from the challenges of the pandemic.
“We will next update on current trading with our half year results, which are due to be released in December 2021.”