Neville Russell has revealed a 7.3% fall in 1997 overall profit from #8.2m to #7.6m, reflecting a loss of one-off fees in 1996.
National senior partner John Mellows said the firm had expected profits to tail off after its restructuring of the Lloyd?s insurance market boosted results in 1996. The firm also blamed the 1997 drop on the cost of office restructuring over the year.
The most serious impact was felt in London, where average profit per partner slipped from #151,000 to #102,000. In 1996, 13 partners earned more than #150,000. Last year none did and just seven earned between #125,000 and #150,000.
On a national level, this was offset slightly by impro-vements outside London. Even so, overall profit per partner was down 14.3% to an average of #84,000.
Neville Russell said with the exceptionals stripped out, the underlying trend was an improvement on 1995. National marketing partner Larry Stroud said: ?The fall will not be the reason for an exodus of partners.?
For its second year of reporting, the Group A firm produced a rise in fee income of 6.6% to #40.7m, compared to a rise of 8% in 1996.
The merger with Revell Ward in Yorkshire and a strong showing by Neville Russell Financial Services, which nearly doubled income to #2.6m, both contributed to the rise.
Mellows said the decision to announce results for the second year running was based on principle. He added that the firm went ahead despite the ?temptation to skip the report for a year when profit fell?.