(Alliance News) - DWF Group PLC on Thursday said its profit increased in the first half of its financial year, with revenue growth in both Legal Advisory and Connected Services.
The Manchester, England-based legal business reported a pretax profit of GBP12.9 million in the six months that ended October 31, up 17% from GBP11.0 million a year before.
DWF attributed this to a lower level of adjusting items in the period of GBP5.6 million, comprising share-based payment charges from its partner-funded employee benefit trust and acquisition related expenses. Share-based payments expenses were GBP2.1 million from GBP4.7 million the year prior.
Acquisition-related expenses were GBP2.8 million from GBP3.3 million, following the acquisitions of legal costs management firm Acumension Ltd, Canadian law firm Whitelaw Twining Law Corp and intra-group services company TWK Management Ltd.
DWF's revenue increased by 4.2% to GBP212.1 million from GBP203.5 million in the half year.
Revenue in the Legal Advisory division grew by 4.9% to GBP181.1 million from GBP172.7 million, and Connected Services revenue increased 17% to GBP19.3 million from GBP16.5 million.
Meanwhile, revenue in the Mindcrest division declined 17% to GBP11.9 million from GBP14.3 million due to a reorganisation to enable investment into core service and investment in sales resources.
DWF recorded a 6.5% increase in direct costs to GBP89.8 million from GBP84.3 million the prior-year.
The firm said this was due to its investment into talent through increases in pay and investments in growth areas, including through lateral hires.
DWF said its strong trading in the period is expected to continue into the second half of financial 2023, in line with market expectations. A shift is expected between transactional work and more counter-cyclical litigation and regulatory practice areas.
"We are taking proactive steps to maximise efficiency in this economic environment. We are well underway with an efficiency programme, through which we aim to remove GBP10 million to GBP12 million of costs by the end of financial 2024," Chief Executive Nigel Knowles said.
"This will enhance our efficiency as a business and support our strategy of pursuing profitable growth. In line with our purpose, this will enable us to continue to deliver positive outcomes with our colleagues, clients and the communities in which we operate."
DWF declared an interim dividend of 1.6 pence per share, up from 1.5p a year before.
Shares in DWF were up 1.3% to 79.21p on Thursday afternoon in London.
By Jaskeet Briah, Alliance News reporter
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