Gateley has reported a healthy increase in profits in its first set of results since listing on Aim in June.
Pre-tax profits rose 10.9% from £2.6m to £2.9m in the six months to 31 October, the national firm reported to the London Stock Exchange this morning.
Turnover increased by 11.5%, from £26.7m to £29.6m. Shareholders will receive their first dividend, of 1.9p per share, in January. Gateley shares were trading 1.5% higher at 104.5p by lunchtime.
The company said it had enjoyed a ‘smooth transition’ to a PLC structure and had in some cases overachieved on targets set at the time of its initial share offering in June.
Michael Ward (pictured), chief executive, said: ‘The group’s ability to deliver a strong first-half performance, in an improving but challenging market, whilst at the same time transitioning the business from an LLP to a PLC not only highlights the capabilities of the senior management team but also reconfirms our strategy of using our more flexible PLC status to enhance shareholder value through organic growth and strategic acquisitions.
‘These results represent a very solid start to our life as a PLC and I believe will serve to further raise our profile, differentiate us from our direct competitors and attract quality staff.’
The statement said the board intends to adopt a 'progressive dividend policy' to reflect the expectation of future cashflow generation and long-term earnings potential, paying up to 70% of after-tax profits each year. Based on its interim results, Gateley announced an interim dividend of 1.895p per share which will be paid on 22 January 2016 to shareholders.
The company confirmed that the listing raised £30m in June.
Since that time, eight new lateral partner hires have been made, with headcount overall increasing 604 to 622.
The firm advised on 123 corporate deals, compared with 117 in the same period of 2014, with an aggregate value of more than £970m.
Gateley was the first established firm to opt to float on the stock exchange, taking advantage of the liberalisation of the legal services market following the 2007 Legal Services Act.profiuts