Drop in insolvencies hits Begbies profits

PROFITS AND REVENUES at Begbies Traynor have been hit by a drop in the number of corporate insolvencies, the business recovery specialist said.

According to the firm’s annual results for the year to 30 April 2014, revenues fell to £45.8m from £51.1m, while adjusted pre-tax profit fell to £5m from £6.7m. Pre-tax profit, including exceptional items, rose to £3.8m from £2.4m.

The firm said revenues were hit by a 9% fall in UK insolvencies during the financial year, while pre-tax profits were buoyed because of lower exceptional items compared with the previous year. Exceptional items included acquisition costs of £0.4m, and £0.8m associated with the planned relocation of the group’s London offices.

According to the data from the Insolvency Service, the number of corporate insolvencies for calendar year 2013 was 18,856, down from 20,749 in 2012.

“Against this backdrop, the group has maintained its market-leading position, having handled the largest number of corporate insolvency appointments in the UK, and has delivered solid profits and margins,” said chairman Ric Traynor.

During the period Begbies acquired Manchester-based corporate insolvency specialist Cooper Williamson and recently bought London-based Ian Franses Associates.

“With the benefit of our reduced cost base, a strong financial position and committed medium and long-term bank facilities, the group remains well placed to take advantage of opportunities to develop and enhance the business, both organically and through selective acquisitions,” Traynor said.

“We also retain the capacity and expertise to handle an increase in activity levels should they arise, which would result in improved profitability due to the inherent operational gearing in the business.”

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