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Full year results for the period ending 31 January 2021

Resilient financial performance supported by a differentiated & scalable business model

Keystone Law Group plc (AIM: KEYS), the fast growing, UK Top 100, challenger law firm, today announces its full year results for the year ended 31 January 2021 ('FY2021').

 

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue growth of 10.9% to £55.0 million (FY2020: £49.6million)
  • PBT of £5.4 million (FY2020: £5.2 million)
  • Adjusted PBT of £6.0 million, representing growth of 3.6% (FY2020: £5.8 million)
  • Basic EPS of 13.8 pence, up 3.8% from 13.3 pence
  • Adjusted EPS of 15.6 pence, up 4.0% from 15.0 pence
  • Strong operating cash conversion at 100% with cash generated from operations of £6.6 million (FY2020: £4.9 million)
  • Maintained robust cash position of £7.4 million, remain debt free
  • Proposed final dividend of 10.6p (2020: Nil) taking full year Ordinary DPS to 17.2p (2020: 3.2p Ordinary and 8.0p Special)

Strategic Highlights

  • Our unique model continues to drive strong organic growth
    • Lawyer recruitment has remained robust, with qualified new applicants up 6% to 253 (FY2020: 239) and accepted offers increasing 25% to 70 (FY2020: 56)
    • Lawyers have continued to grow their practices despite Covid-19 having a negative effect on client demand, with 74 (FY2020: 52) Pod members operating within 44 Pods
  • We actioned a swift and effective response to Covid-19, supporting our people throughout with a strong focus on wellbeing
    • Seamlessly moved all staff to homeworking from 13 March 2020, ahead of the first lockdown, for which we were well positioned due to our strong IT infrastructure
    • Did not furlough employees or defer tax payments
    • We have undertaken a full programme of online events for our lawyers to help support their health and happiness and enable them to maintain their networks within the business
  • We continue to invest into our proprietary technology, improving ease of access and lawyer utilisation of the system to further facilitate remote working
  • Our model and strong supportive culture has received external recognition - in 2020 we won the Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer awards, and in January this year we were awarded the Roll on Friday ‘Firm of the Year’, with Keystone scoring 94% satisfaction rating

 

Current trading and outlook

  • The current financial year has started well, with good levels of activity from our existing lawyers, and the number and quality of new applicants gives us confidence in the year ahead

 

James Knight, Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Law, commented:

The nature of Keystone’s business model, whereby our 350+ lawyers were all well acquainted with remote working when lockdown began, has undoubtedly made it easier for the firm to remain 100% operationally efficient since March 2020. Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of what the firm and our people have achieved in the last year, not just for maintaining that efficiency but also for delivering solid growth.  I was particularly impressed with how our central office team switched seamlessly to home working and their collective performance since in supporting our lawyers has been faultless.  

I am excited about the year ahead, not least because the vast majority of the legal profession has started to suspect something that we have known for 20 years:  if the right tools and infrastructure are in place then lawyers, even when undertaking complicated, multi-disciplinary transactions, can deliver a far better service if they are given flexibility and autonomy while enjoying a better work-life balance.

 

 

 

For further information please contact:

    Keystone Law Group plc
James Knight, Chief Executive Officer
Ashley Miller, Finance Director
www.keystonelaw.com
 
+44 (0) 20 3319 3700 
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) 
Dominic Morley (Corporate Finance)
Erik Anderson (Corporate Broking)
www.panmure.com
+44 (0) 20 7886 2500
  
Investec Bank plc (Joint Broker) 
Carlton Nelson
James Rudd
www.investec.co.uk
 
Media enquiries:
+44 (0) 20 7597 5970
  
FTI Consulting   
Laura Ewart
Shiv Talwar
+44 (0)7711 387 085 
[email protected]  

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“MAR”).

 

Analyst Briefing

A meeting for analysts will be held virtually at 9.30am today, 29 April 2021. Analysts wishing to attend this event can register via email at [email protected]. Keystone's Full Year 2021 results announcement will also be available today on the Group's website at www.keystonelaw.com

 

Notes to editors

Keystone is an award-winning law firm, providing conventional legal services to SMEs and high net worth individuals in a £9bn addressable market.

Keystone has a scalable and unique model, with three defining characteristics:

  • Our lawyers have freedom, flexibility and autonomy, and are paid up to 75% of what they bill.
  • Our lawyers determine how, when and where they work, in contrast to the conventional law firm model.
  • We offer lawyers full infrastructure and support via its central office, bespoke user-friendly IT platform, and network of colleagues and events.

Keystone is a full-service law firm, with 20 service areas and more than 50 industry sectors delivered by over 350 high calibre self-employed lawyers who work from their own offices.

In November 2020, Keystone was named Law Firm of the Year by The Lawyer, the first time a ‘new’ law firm has won the award.

More information about Keystone can be found at www.keystonelaw.co.uk.