NAHL (AIM: NAH), the leading UK marketing and services business focused on the UK consumer legal market, is today providing a trading update for the first half of its current financial year, covering the six months to 30 June 2019.
The Group has performed in line with the Board’s underlying earnings* expectations, with revenue and underlying operating profit** both showing growth against the same period last year, as well as sequential growth on H2 2018. Net debt at 30 June 2019 was £17.6m, which was marginally lower than the Board’s expectations.
Within the Group’s Personal Injury division (“PI”), National Accident Helpline (“NAH”) continues to operate in challenging market conditions, driven by competitive pressures. The Board expects these to persist until the implementation date of the legal reforms, currently planned for April 2020. NAH management continue to adapt the division’s marketing and placement tactics to respond and optimise the results. The strategic transformation of PI continues and, pleasingly, the contribution from its Legal Services business unit is slightly ahead of expectations. This includes the Group’s wholly owned law firm, National Accident Law, which has made encouraging progress since its launch in April 2019.
The Group’s Critical Care division has performed in line with the Board’s expectations and delivered double digit profit growth in H1 2019.
Whilst the residential property market has deteriorated further in H1, we have continued to progress a number of initiatives to drive growth in H2 and are beginning to see some market share gains.
Overall, despite no noticeable improvement in market conditions, the Board is pleased with the Group’s strategic progress and its underlying earnings* expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
NAHL will announce its results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 on 17 September 2019.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of NAHL, commented:
“The first half of 2019 has been an exciting period with the successful launch of the Group’s wholly owned law firm, National Accident Law, which has demonstrated encouraging progress. Critical Care has continued to perform well, generating a strong profit performance, while the Residential Property team have concentrated on driving share growth in a difficult market environment.
“The Board is pleased with the Group’s performance during the first half and remains excited about the opportunity that National Accident Law represents for the PI division.”