Debt rises for DAC Beachcroft and Olswang, while Ince cuts borrowings, LLP accounts show

The latest set of LLP accounts filed with Companies House show another batch of firms making changes to their borrowings to finance continued investment.

DAC Beachcroft’s accounts confirm the firm’s 14 per cent rise in turnover for 2012/13 (15 July 2013). Audited revenues rose from £163.5m in 2011/12 to £186.8m last year, while profit available for division among members went up by 42 per cent to £31.2m. 

The accounts also confirm DAC’s £10.2m cash call and increase in its rolling credit facility, which took effect after the financial year end (18 November 2013). The change in financing has increased members’ interests from £53.8m to £64m, according to a proforma summary balance sheet included in the accounts.

DAC increased its net debt from £34m in 2011/12 to £38.7m. Total bank loans rose from £8.3m to £9.2m, but the firm has repaid £4.5m of these facilities since year-end. The firm’s September 2012 merger with Scottish firm Andersons Solicitors (22 March 2012) added just under £500,000 to net debt but DAC acquired £600,000 of net assets through the acquisition.

The firm’s growth, from 1,842 people in 2011/12 to 2,051 people in 2012/13 meant staff costs rose form £85,000 in 2011/12 to £99,000 last year – an increase of 16 per cent. The average number of LLP members went up from 89 to 113, and the profit share attributable to the highest-paid partner dropped from £579,000 to £450,000.

Olswang’s accounts also show a rise in net debt last year. The firm added £3m to its borrowings, using its unsecured revolving capital facility, which together with a decrease in cash of £2.2m contributed to a £5.3m increase in debt, from £8.4m to £13.7m.

A firm spokesperson said the borrowings have contributed to investment, including international expansion, which had paid off in Olswang’s positive half-year results (12 November 2013).

The accounts show audited turnover of £110m, up by just over 1 per cent from £108.5m the previous year (4 June 2013), with net profit dropping 4 per cent from £38.5m to £37m. However the amount due to the highest-paid partner rose from £576,000 in 2011/12 to £716,000 last year. However this amount represented profits from 2012, allocated in 2013.

Although staff and lawyer numbers dropped from 565 in 2011/12 to 554 last year, staff costs rose from £33.6m to £36.2m.

Ince & Co has also filed its LLP accounts with Companies House. In contrast to DAC Beachcroft and Olswang, the firm reduced its borrowings during the year from £1.4m to just £500,000, due by February this year. The firm publishes several sets of accounts, with its international LLP operating as a parent for its UK and German operations and other entities within the firm’s structure.

The international LLP accounts show global turnover of £91.7m, up marginally from £91.2m the previous year. Profit dropped slightly, from £32.9m to £32.3m. Ince ended the year with £15.7m of net funds, up from £12.9m at the end of 2011/12.

The UK LLP accounts showed a similar rise in turnover and fall in profit to the international LLP. Turnover went up from £61.1m in 2011/12 to £61.9 last year, while profit dropped from £20.1m to £19.1m.

The highest-paid member in the international LLP was paid £642,000 last year, with the highest-paid member of the UK LLP received £545,000. Both figures were a decrease on 2011/12, when the highest-paid members took home £682,000 and £584,00 respectively.

For more on firms’ changes to their borrowings, see this week’s notebook, Arrears window.