One of the UK’s first listed law firms is forecasting that profits more than doubled during its first year as a public company.

Knights became the fifth law firm to float last summer, on the junior market AIM. The firm reported today that adjusted profit before tax is expected to be £9.7m for the year to 30 April, a 102% annual increase. Full-year results will be reported in July. 

In a trading update, the firm attributed the rise to acquisitions and organic growth. Revenue for the full year is expected to be at least £52.4m, a 50.6% increase on the previous year. Like-for-like income excluding acquisitions is estimated to be 15% up. 

Cash conversion was ‘higher than normal’, resulting in a year-end net debt of £14.1m. This is a ‘significantly better’ result than the market expectation of £17.8m. 

David Beech, chief executive, said: ‘We continue to deliver on our strategy, both organically and through selective acquisitions, resulting in strong, cash-generative, profitable growth.’ 

In the last year, Knights has acquired north-west firm Turner Parkinson, Leicester practices Cummins Solicitors and Spearing Waite, and Oxfordshire firm Brookstreet des Roches. All four have been integrated into Knights’ IT system and are ‘performing well’ and in line with expectations.  

The firm, which markets itself as offering ‘big city’ quality from a regional cost base, now operates from eight offices in Cheltenham, Chester, Derby, Leicester, Manchester, Oxford, Stoke and Wilmslow.