Shares in the Ince Group fell this morning following a trading update which promised a dividend review but made no reference to expected profits.
Shares in the legal services company fell to 72p on opening this morning, down from 84p yesterday. They have since rallied to 80.9p.
In its update, Ince said its board will review the payment of a dividend with the announcement of results for the year ended 31 March 2021. The company cancelled its dividend in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic. In September, it also laid off 50 fee earners and support staff in areas where it was not expected that business would recover in the medium term.
Today's update predicts revenue for the year ended 31 March 2021 was slightly higher than last year, at £97m (2020: £96.4m). However, net debt also increased to £7.1m, up from £6.9m in 2020.
The firm said UK revenue had recovered from the levels seen in April and May last year and subsequent like-for-like performance across the majority of sectors was broadly flat. ‘As restrictions are eased, confidence and market activity levels are beginning to improve again,’ it added.
Adrian Biles, chief executive, said: ‘We are very pleased with what has been achieved in the last year and with the resilience of the business and its operations. This is due to the hard work and commitment of our people.
‘The outlook for the current year is positive as travel and other restrictions continue to ease. Remote working is long established at Ince and we expect it to continue to some degree going forward but we regard the return to the office on a more regular basis as an important feature of the business Ince remains well set on its growth trajectory.’