Manchester-headquartered international law firm DWF Group plc said its profit increased in the first half of its financial year, with revenue growth in both Legal Advisory and Connected Services.
The legal firm reported a pretax profit of £12.9 million in the six months that ended October 31, up 17% from £11 million a year before.
DWF attributed this to a lower level of adjusting items in the period of £5.6 million, comprising share-based payment charges from its partner-funded employee benefit trust and acquisition related expenses. Share-based payments expenses were £2.1 million, from £4.7 million the year prior.
Acquisition-related expenses were £2.8 million, from £3.3 million, following the acquisitions of legal costs management firm Acumension Ltd, Canadian law firm Whitelaw Twining Law Corp and intra-group services company TWK Management Ltd.
DWF’s revenue increased 4.2% to £212.1 million.
Revenue in the Legal Advisory division grew 4.9% to £181.1 million, and Connected Services revenue increased 17% to £19.3 million.
DWF declared an interim dividend of 1.6p per share, up from 1.5p a year before.
DWF CEO Nigel Knowles said: “We are pleased with our strong first half performance, achieved against a challenging macro-economic backdrop. Net revenue is up by 3.4% and adjusted profit is in-line with a stellar prior year.
“We have won some significant mandates and retenders reflecting our deepening relationships with key clients and we have extended our capabilities, both through strategic M&A, including our recent transaction with Whitelaw Twining in Canada, and new partner recruitment.
“This performance is thanks to the steps we have taken over the last two years to make our business more sustainable and future focused. We have defined a clear strategy built around integrated legal and business services and enhanced our core strengths, such as our expertise in insurance.
“We are taking proactive steps to maximise efficiency in this economic environment. We are well underway with an efficiency programme, through which we aim to remove £10m to £12m of costs by the end of FY24. This will enhance our efficiency as a business and support our strategy of pursuing profitable growth.
“In line with our purpose, this will enable us to continue to deliver positive outcomes with our colleagues, clients and the communities in which we operate.
“As we look ahead, we see the benefits of having both a global footprint and an established but diversified set of services through which we can provide solutions to our clients.
“Given the clear counter cyclical qualities of many of our services, such as our litigation and regulatory offerings, and the short to medium term benefit we will see through our efficiency programme, we maintain confidence in the outlook for the second half and beyond.”
Reporter: Jaskeet Briah
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