DWF releases full-year results

CEO reveals direction of group's organic growth strategy

DWF releases full-year results

Professional Risks

By Mika Pangilinan

DWF, a global provider of integrated legal and business services, has announced its full-year results for the year ended April 30, 2023, revealing a group net revenue of £380.1 million.

This is an 8.5% growth from the £350.2 million net revenue reported in the previous fiscal year, which came amid a challenging environment for the legal sector and the broader economy.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chief executive officer, said the growth is indicative of how the group’s “organic growth strategy and integrated propositions continue to resonate with clients.”

He also acknowledged the value added by new businesses via acquisitions of Acumension and Whitelaw Twining.

Other highlights from DWF’s full-year results include a 1.3-percentage point gross profit margin reduction from 52.7% in 2022 to 50.4%, attributed to direct cost pressure from salary increases.

Its Cost to income ratio improved by 1.2 percentage points from 37.2%, which the group said helped offset margin pressures.

Adjusted profit before tax was up 4.7% to £43.3 million from £41.4 million, with direct cost and interest rate pressures weighing on profitability.

“We have once again grown the business profitably in what continues to be a very challenging economic environment,” said Knowles. “Like other legal businesses, we have seen salary and inflationary pressures, the impact of interest rate increases and variable demand particularly in transactional areas.”

Meanwhile, CEO of commercial services Paul Rimmer spoke of DWF’s acquisition by Inflexion, which is set to complete towards the end of 2023.

“The quantum of irrevocable undertakings obtained from the senior partners and leaders demonstrates our collective strong belief in the rationale for the proposed acquisition, especially access to additional capital, more flexibility on investment spend and the ability to maintain additional leverage capacity in the business as we invest to counter macro headwinds,” said Rimmer. “This is an essential opportunity to ensure DWF has a firm footing for growth over the medium term and we all look forward to supporting our clients under Inflexion’s ownership.”

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