Almost a quarter of people in the UK now recognise the Slater and Gordon brand, the Australian stock exchange-listed firm has said.
In its annual results published on the Australian stock exchange today, ‘brand awareness’ - measured from an internally commissioned survey - is ranked in the UK as 24%. In Australia, 72% of people recognise the Slater and Gordon brand.
The firm's results in the year to 30 June show that UK-generated revenue increased by 47.6% to £98m. UK profits before tax rose 10.5% during the same period to £11.1m. As a standalone firm, the turnover figure would be enough to see Slater and Gordon comfortably inside the top 50 firms in the UK.
UK income now constitutes 40% of the firm’s overall £243m turnover, up from a quarter two years ago.
Managing director Andrew Grech suggested that the firm will now concentrate on consolidation after so many acquisitions in the past three years.
‘We now have a commanding market-share lead in both Australia and the UK,’ he said. ‘Free from the demands of near-term acquisition activity, we will be able to focus our efforts on continuing to improve operating effectiveness.’
The accounts address the recent announcement by the Serious Fraud Office that it will investigate business and accounting practices of Quindell, the listed UK company which sold its professional services division (PSD) to Slater and Gordon earlier this year.
Slater and Gordon said the acquisition was structured as an acquisition of the PSD entities rather than of the common stock of Quindell. It revealed that Quindell provided ‘detailed warranties’ in relation to the operations of the division, with the warranties secured by a warranty escrow account holding £50m.
Slater and Gordon says it is still trying to validate the ‘underlying assumptions’ of profits that could be generated by the PSD noise-induced hearing loss claims, which were claimed by Quindell last year to be worth £40m.
The firm also said it had identified two errors in the method used to report receipts from customers and payments to suppliers and employees by the UK business.
From the initial date of acquisition of Russell Jones & Walker in 2012 until the period ending 31 December 2013, the UK business reported receipts from customers on a ‘gross’ rather than a ‘net’ basis.
Then in the financial statements released in June 2014 and December 2014, UK VAT was included twice in receipts from customers. The firm said this effect was wholly offset by the same amount being added to payments.