A newly listed firm reporting healthy profit increases said today there will be no let-up in its acquisition spree. Gordon Dadds Group plc bought five professional services businesses in 2017/18 but said today that further opportunities for expansion are continuously under discussion, with targets are likely to be businesses in the UK and internationally with at least £10m annual income.

In its maiden results, the firm posted pre-tax profits up 23.3% to £2.96m on revenue of £31.2m (up 25.3%) for the year ending 31 March. Its share price rose more than 6% on the announcement. Shareholders will receive a dividend of 4p per share. 

Adrian Biles

Adrian Biles

Adrian Biles, chief executive, said: ‘We expect to achieve significant further growth during the year from additional acquisitions, together with organic growth arising principally from the increasing cross-referral of clients between the group’s businesses and as the more specialised businesses take advantage of the group’s full service capabilities. We continuously examine expansion opportunities and are engaged in discussions with firms in a number of other international jurisdictions. In the UK, we have a good pipeline of potential acquisitions with which we are at various stages of discussion or negotiation.’

Biles owns 26.7% of the company and received £245,000 through salary and profit shares in 2018 (up from £200,000 in 2017).

The group was admitted to the AIM market of the London stock exchange last year. It committed £20m to acquisitions last year and has spent just over half that figure so far.

Biles stressed that further acquisitions will not be dictated by the financial performance of the firm but by the quality of those working within it. ‘High quality businesses may well be struggling with issues of size, strategy and how to best finance themselves’, said Biles. ‘From our perspective it is about giving them access to capital and reserves.’

Gordon Dadds receives more than two-thirds of its income through the practice areas of corporate and tax, dispute resolution and real estate work.

The firm has increased its staff numbers from 177 to 229 and now has 107 fee earners. Staff costs rose from £7.7m in 2017 to £10.8m in 2017/18.