Ince Group PLC (The) – Half-year Report

Ince Group PLC (The) – Half-year Report

The Ince Group PLC (AIM: INCE), the international legal and professional services company, is pleased to announce its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 September 2019.

 

For the six months ended 30 September (£m)

2019

2018

% Growth

Revenue

45.3

20.1

+125%

Adjusted profit before tax*

4.0

1.1

+264%

Adjusted diluted earnings per share (p)**

6.3p

1.9p

+232%

Basic diluted earnings per shares (p)

5.1p

(0.6)p

N/A

Dividend per share (p)

2.0p

2.0p

Unchanged

Net (debt)/cash

(10.4)

3.1

* Adjusted profit before tax is calculated, as shown in note 6 to the financial statements, as the profit before tax after adding back non-recurring items of £0.5m in 2019 (2018: £0.7m) and after deducting the non-controlling interests (or partners’ profit shares) as shown in the financial statements below of £7.1m in 2019 (2018: £3.2m).

** Adjusted diluted earnings per share is computed from adjusted profit before tax after deducting taxation

Financial highlights

·   With the Ince transaction plus the five acquisitions in the previous year annualised profitable revenue is now c.£100m.

·      Revenue increased to £45.3m, 125% up from 2018.

·      Adjusted profit before tax increased to £4.0m, 264% up from 2018.

·      Organic growth over last year approximately 5.3%.

·      Adjusted earnings per share increased to 6.3p, 232% up from 2018.

·   Former Group London office vacated and lease terms for Aldgate Tower improved, yielding an annual saving of some £2.4m.

·      Net debt at the period end of £10.4 million resulting from the working capital invested in successful lateral hires and the costs of integrating the Ince business.

·      Rationalisation of back office completed yielding further annual savings of £2.6m.

Operational highlights

·    Now operating from 23 offices in eight countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, up from 11 offices in two countries this time last year.

·    New “Ince” brand established globally.

·    Integration of consolidated businesses completed.  Successful revenue creating collaboration between offices and development of overseas offices progressing well including:

Ince’s London operations successfully merged and overseas operations brought within the Group from April 2019.

Acquisition of Ince Gibraltar (formerly Ramparts) completed in April 2019 and performing well.

Partner and client retention strong across the business.

·    Lateral hire of three partners and over 20 staff in Hong Kong.

·    Separate London office in the Lloyds Building in Leadenhall Street opened in June 2019, strengthening the Group’s contact with insurance clients.

·    Mayfair office under the Gordon Dadds brand to service family and private client business opened in September 2019.

·    New practice management system owned by the Group being introduced, which will lead to significant operational improvements.

·    Strategic senior appointments to deepen and extend management capacity and service lines including:

Mark Tantam, formerly a vice chair of Deloitte, appointed as Global Head of Consulting.

Julian Clark, formerly Global Head of Shipping at Hill Dickinson, appointed as Senior Partner.

Alexander Janes, a former global managing partner of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, joining as head of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Adrian Biles, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“These strong results are a vindication of our strategy. They are the product of the new international platform we have developed under the Ince brand. We remain on track to deliver  c.£100m of annualised revenue in the current financial year, even with political headwinds buffeting some key markets across the globe.

“The second half of the year traditionally provides the majority of the Group’s profits and the lateral appointments we have made will largely show through next year.  The attractions of our model and approach are being recognised amongst senior lawyers and professionals in major financial markets around the globe as can be seen from the quality of our newest hires.

“I remain confident that the business can continue to develop from here generating increasing revenue and profits.”

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