11 December 2019 – interim results and acquisition
The global legal business providing Complex, Managed and Connected Services, has issued its half year results for the period to 31 October 2019. Net revenue was up 10% to £146.8m (2018: £133.4m) and underlying adjusted profit before tax £9.7m (2018: £9.4m). This translated into adjusted diluted earnings per share of 2.6p versus 3.6p last year. A final dividend in relation to the last full year of 1.0p per share was paid. The first interim dividend for this year, 1.25p per share, is payable on 20 December 2019. A second interim dividend is expected to be paid in February 2020 with the final expected to be paid in September 2020. The dividend policy is to retain sufficient capital to fund ongoing operating requirements and to invest in long-term growth. The target dividend pay-out ratio is up to 70% of adjusted profit after tax. The acquisition of leading independent Spanish law firm Rousaud Costas Duran for up to €50.5m (£42.5m) in shares and cash, of which €7.4m (£6.2m) is payable in cash at completion with up to €15.5m (£13.1m) in deferred or contingent cash consideration has also been announced. The shares remain a BUY.