Slater & Gordon is set to grow its UK business after it announced its first half-year results since the takeover of Russell Jones & Walker (RJW).
The listed Australian firm – now an alternative business structure (ABS) in England and Wales – posted a 46.5% increase in its revenue for the last six months of 2012 of A$146m (£99m).
Since acquiring RJW for £53.8m in April 2012, Slater & Gordon said its expansion into the UK has been “progressing well”. UK revenue was A$34.3m (£23.2m) and net profit after tax was A$3.5m (£2.4m) for the half-year period.
It said: “The UK business is on track to achieve its full year earnings forecast. With a solid platform now in place, opportunities for further growth in the larger UK market are being advanced.”
In its results presentation, the company identified the ABS environment and impact of Jackson on firms that acquire clients via claims management companies as “driving consolidation of the consumer legal services market”.
Slater & Gordon’s response will be to exploit the lack of a dominant brand in the sector to “build direct to consumer brand as the law firm of choice for everyday people”. Key to this, it said, was RJW’s re-brand to Slater & Gordon, completed this month.
This mirrors efforts in Australia, where it has been running a ‘Slater & Gordon – not a problem’ advertising campaign, which the company said has delivered a double-digit year-on-year increase in total new client enquiries and has “re-positioned the Slater & Gordon brand in the market as the provider of a full range of consumer legal services for everyday people”. Like the UK operations, the firm is best known for its personal injury work.
Further, brand awareness research showed that more than 70% of Australians knew of the firm.
Across the whole business, the firm’s net profit after tax rose by 61% to A$19m, with a forecasted total group revenue for the full year to the end of June 2013 of A$290m.
Slater & Gordon managing director Andrew Grech said: “Our business is in good shape, we have strong prospects for further profitable growth and we have the resources and the people to be able to deliver it.”