The listed parent company of personal injury firm NewLaw has reported hefty profit increases – despite being on the brink of closing an office.
Redde plc, which has owned the south-west firm since 2014, reported to the London stock exchange that half-year profit before tax for 2018 was £46m, an increase of 15% year-on-year. Revenues topped £500m for the first time at £527m (2017: £472.3m) and increase of 11.6%.
The group added to its range of legal services in October last year with the creation of an alternative business structure named Your Law with National Accident Helpline. That signaled the firm reducing its reliance on work from road traffic accident claims, which led to plans to consolidate operations into one building in Cardiff.
The Redde report confirmed, as first reported in the Gazette, the firm’s Bristol office is being run down and will close at the end of this month, with redundancy costs adding up to £700,000 for staff unable or unwilling to relocate, or whose roles would be replicated in Cardiff.
The report added: ‘Your Law has made an encouraging start in its first year of operations and represents an exciting growth potential for the group. In addition the group has continued to see a further increase in NewLaw’s employers’ liability and medical negligence practice; these cases will take longer to settle than road traffic accident claims which continue to represent a reducing proportion of the group’s business in this area.’
Redde experienced a 19.3% growth in credit hire cases and 3.4% increase in repair cases during the first half of 2018.
Martin Ward, chief executive, said the company plans to pay a 14th consecutive dividend to shareholders, adding: ‘The group continues to generate quality, sustainable earnings by serving a large and growing number of businesses and fulfilling hundreds of thousands of physical transactions each year to businesses and consumers.’
The recommended final dividend for 2018 is 6.15p, an increase of 9.8% on 2017. Shares rose 2.76% following the stock exchange announcement.