The Lancashire-based Fairpoint Group plc, one of the UK’s leading providers of consumer professional services, has announced strong end of year results, with revenue up by 35 per cent.
The firm, based at Adlington, near Chorley, reported:
*A strong financial performance, with a significant maiden contribution from consumer legal services.
*Adjusted profit and revenues have increased at double digit rates compared to 2013.
*Revenue increased by 35 per cent to £38.3m (2013: £28.4m)
*Adjusted profit before tax increased by 15 per cent to £9.3m (2013: £8.1m)
Chris Moat, Chief Executive Officer, said: “2014 was a transformational year for Fairpoint as we successfully expanded into the much larger legal services market with the acquisition of Simpson Millar and reported strong growth in revenues and adjusted profits.
“Having established a significant legal services platform we expect to continue to pursue acquisition opportunities whilst also developing our organic growth agenda.
“The full year benefit of this activity will provide an important growth stimulus for 2015 and has already provided a strong start to the year.”
The annual report noted that the group had acquired three debt management books (two via corporate acquisitions).
It also formed the legal services segment by acquiring Simpson Millar and then adding Foster and Partners LLP Solicitors.
Adjusted basic earnings per share was 17.17p (2013: 15.03p). Basic earnings per share was 6.62p (2013: 11.08p) and fully diluted earnings per share was 6.53p (2013: 10.96p).
Net debt at 31 December 2014 was £7.6m (31 December 2013: net cash of £2.8m), largely reflecting the £14.0m cash cost of acquisitions during the year.
The firm said: “We now operate within two core market places – legal services and debt solutions. Both market places are undergoing substantial change and may present significant opportunities for growth via consolidation.
“The consumer legal services market place is estimated to be worth some £10bn per annum.”