Begbies Traynor turns profit as insolvency figures slump

PRE-TAX profits at Begbies Traynor shot up to £4.5m for the year to the end of April, as the firm was boosted by its property services unit, despite seeing insolvencies drop to its lowest level since 2004.

The insolvency outfit recorded pre-tax profits of £600,000 for the year, compared to losses of £700,000 in the prior year.

Its adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 25% to £4.5m over the same period, while the firm broke the £50m mark in revenue.

In December 2015, pre-tax profits at Begbies dived during the six months ended 31 October 2015 owing to challenging market conditions

The latest results represent a successful first full year for Begbies following the acquisition of Eddisons, a national firm of chartered surveyors. Begbies claim the acquisition has strengthened its property services division, which executive chairman Ric Traynor says now represents 25 per cent of the group’s activities.

Begbies financial summar

However, the group claims to be experiencing a turbulent time within its insolvency division, making a further reduction in UK corporate insolvency appointments over the last year, but claims to have maintained its “market leading position as the largest corporate appointment taker by volume” through strict cost controls.

The number of people employed in its insolvency division was reduced to 355 as at 30 April 2016 from 370 at the start of the financial year; reflecting a combination of 36 new joiners as a result of its P&A acquisition, offset by a reduction of 51 due to the continued alignment of the cost base with current market conditions.

Commenting on the results, Ric Traynor, executive chairman of Begbies Traynor, said: “Last year was one of solid progress for the group with results in line with market expectations and growth in both revenue and profits; this reflected the benefit of the investment in our property services division.

“The integration of Eddisons into the group has been completed and synergy savings have exceeded our original expectations.

“Although we remain cautious about activity levels in our countercyclical activities in business recovery and property services in the near term, the recent acquisition of the Pugh auction business, together with the Taylors valuation business, gives the opportunity for growth in earnings in the new financial year.

“We will continue to look for further opportunities to develop and enhance the business, both organically and through selective acquisitions.

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