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Interim Results

Keystone Law (AIM: KEYS), the fast growing, UK Top 100, challenger law firm, today announces its interim results for the six months ended 31 July 2019 ('H1-2020' or the 'period').

Financial Highlights

  • Strong revenue growth of 15.3% to £23.0 million (H1-2019: £19.9 million)
  • Adjusted PBT1 increased by 15.4% to £2.7 million (H1-2019: £2.3 million)
  • Basic EPS rising to 6.3 pence (H1-2019: 5.5 pence)
  • Robust cash conversion at 90.3% with operating cashflow2 of £2.4 million (H1-2019: £2.2 million)
  • Interim ordinary dividend of 3.2 pence per share, in line with progressive dividend policy
  • Special dividend of 8.0 pence per share

1 Adjusted PBT is calculated utilising profit before tax and adding back amortisation for both periods; for the current year share based payments and one off costs associated with property relocation is also added back.

2 Operating Cashflow is calculated utilising cash generated from operations and deducting repayment of other borrowings; these being property lease payments in respect of the Keystone offices.

Business Highlights

  • Principal1 lawyer recruitment continues to be strong

    • Number of qualified new applicants rose by 7.5% to 114 (H1-2019: 106)
    • Principal lawyers accepting offers increased by 24% to 36 (H1-2019: 29)
    • Number of principals increased by 27 (H1-2019: 25)
  • Demand for junior support, both through Pods1 and central office employed lawyers, continues to grow: Pod members increased by five and central office lawyers by two
  • Invested in new office space to deliver more meeting rooms, hot desks and improved lawyer centre
  • Aligned existing lease to new now hold co-terminus five year leases
  • Keystone model and brand continues to be increasingly well respected
  • Performance in the period has been ahead of expectations and this has laid a strong foundation for the rest of the year

1 Principal lawyers are the senior lawyer who own the service company ("Pod") which contracts with Keystone. The relationship between Keystone and its lawyers is governed by two agreements: a service agreement (which governs the commercial terms and is between the Pod company and Keystone) and a compliance agreement (which governs the behaviour of lawyers and is between each lawyer and Keystone). Pods can employ more than one fee earner.

James Knight, Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Law, commented: "I am pleased to report another strong set of Interim Results, as reflected by both the Group's financial and operational performance. The revenue and profit growth has been driven by the ongoing strength of the recruitment activity as we continue to attract high calibre principal lawyers looking to take advantage of the benefits that the Keystone model offers and build their practices. This is providing clear evidence of the Group's ability to scale and take advantage of the considerable mid-market opportunity.

"The performance of the existing lawyers, together with the strength of the recruitment pipeline at the half year all serve to underpin our confidence in the second half."

 

For further information:

Keystone Law Group plc
James Knight, Chief Executive Officer Tel: +44 (0) 20 3319 3700
Ashley Miller, Finance Director www.keystonelaw.co.uk
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
(Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Dominic Morley (Corporate Finance) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Erik Anderson (Corporate Broking) www.panmure.com

Media enquiries:

Buchanan

 

Henry Harrison-Topham / Steph Watson / Hannah Ratcliff Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com

 

Notes to editors

Keystone Law is a UK Top 100, fast growing, profitable and cash generative challenger law firm. Established in 2002, Keystone is one of the first platform models disrupting the traditional law firms operating within the legal services mid-market. Keystone's model permits rapid scalability, enabling the Group to increase the number of revenue generating lawyers more quickly than the traditional model.

As a full service law firm, Keystone delivers conventional legal services across more than 20 service areas and over 50 industry sectors to a client base comprising predominantly of SMEs and private individuals. These services are delivered by over 300 experienced self-employed lawyers who work from their own offices; with no fixed remuneration their fees are calculated with direct reference to the income they generate for the Group. The lawyers are fully supported by the Group's central office team of approximately 40 employees, and are therefore able to focus entirely on business development and the delivery of legal work.

With the head office located in the heart of London's legal district on Chancery Lane, the Group uses its bespoke proprietary software platform to enable Keystone's lawyers to interact with the central office team and each other in an easy and efficient manner, whilst extensive networking and social events engender a strong sense of belonging to the Keystone family. The platform also drives interaction, co-operation and a strong corporate culture across the business.

Keystone joined the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in November 2017, raising £15 million, under the ticker KEYS. More information can be found at: www.keystonelaw.co.uk/