Listed pioneer records strong growth with turnover and profits up

Stock exchange: Gateley’s shares have been on a journey

Gateley – the first listed law firm – is expected to announce an 18% rise in turnover in its annual results, with profits up 10%, it told shareholders today.

In a trading update for the year to 30 April 2019, the AIM-listed company told the market that it was “delighted with revenue and profit growth in the year which has enabled the group to not only increase its dividends to shareholders but, also, to invest further in the business”.

When the results are formally announced in July, Gateley expects to report revenue of not less than £102m, up from £86m last year, adjusted EBITDA of at least £19m (up 8% from £16.5m) and profit after tax of not less than £13m , compared to £11.8m last year.

Some of the growth has come from acquisition – Gateley bought housebuilder specialist law firm GCL Solicitors in May 2018, and human capital consultancy Kiddy & Partners in June, expanding the group to 16 legal and five non-legal business lines.

Gateley’s shares actually dipped slightly on the news today, to 165p at the time of writing. Its share price has been on a journey in recent months. It ended 2018 on 128p, a 26% slide on the year, but has been as high as 175p this year. Its all-time high is 194p in June 2017.

The update said: “The group has recorded organic and acquisitive growth across all of its segmental reporting lines, reflecting Gateley’s strength in depth and the benefits of continued, focused investment.

“Our acquisition pipeline remains strong, as we seek additional growth opportunities through complementary professional services.

“Our staff numbers continue to grow to record levels, as we invest in people to support the further expansion of professional services across our national offering to clients, who will benefit from the increased breadth, depth and scale of our expert advice.”

Chief executive Michael Ward added: “Our national reach, built on our already well-balanced business, creates further exciting opportunities for future expansion. We look forward to the future with confidence.”

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