East Anglia’s Birketts achieves 20 per cent profit rise through organic growth

East Anglian firm Birketts has unveiled strong financial results for the 2013/14 year, achieving 12 per cent turnover growth with a 20 per cent rise in net profit.

Turnover rose 11.9 per cent from £28.65m in 2012/13 to £32.1m. The rise followed growth of 7 per cent between 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Birketts reported net profit of £7.53m last year, a 20.7 per cent rise from £6.24m in 2012/13, which itself followed an increase of 9.5 per cent from 2011/12. Meanwhile average profit per equity partner last year hit £235,000, a 13 per cent increase from the previous year. 

The firm has now reported growth of 80.1 per cent in the last five years, with turnover rising from £17.8m in 2009/10 largely due to its September 2010 merger with Chelmsford-based Wollastons (19 July 2010). 

CEO Jonathan Agar said the growth last year had been entirely organic, and was the result of all the firm’s staff pulling together with “no soft patches”.

Agar said Birketts had been adjusting its gearing, with more hires at junior level than senior recently following growth at partner level immediately following the Wollastons merger.

“You’ve got to get the work done at the right level by the right people,” he said.

The firm’s corporate and property teams had particularly strong years, increasing their contribution to overall revenue by four and five percentage points respectively. Major transactions last year included the sale of dental products supplier The Dental Directory to Carlyle-backed Integrated Dental Holdings.

Birketts also won positions on Suffolk Life’s first formal panel (4 February 2014) and the Salford-based Crescent Purchasing Consortium’s (CPC) legal services framework (3 February 2014).

Agar added that the firm was benefitting from renewed economic strength within the East Anglia region.

“Our results reflect the increased confidence in the region,” he said. “We feel that the region is economically much stronger than people really realise.”

Birketts is planning to move into larger premises in Cambridge next year in order to build its presence in the city, and Agar stressed that future growth plans were focused on further organic expansion. However the firm is not ruling out mergers and would examine any opportunities arising.