Salans rides out credit crunch with CEE growth

Salans has posted strong half-year revenue gains, with the firm’s Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations helping to protect it from the ill-effects of turbulent markets.

Managing partner Steven Finch said the firm, which operates a calendar fiscal year, pulled in $115m (£57.05m) in revenue in the first six months of its financial year, compared with $83m (£41.18m) for the same period in 2006. This represents a 37 per cent hike in turnover year-on-year.

Finch attributed the revenue gains to strong performances in growing legal markets such as Budapest and Shanghai, as well as its new offices in Spain.

The firm is confident that its performance over the coming six months will remain strong, with the market correction caused by the credit crunch unlikely to have too big an impact on turnover.

Finch said: “In fact, with the way we’re structured, doing a lot of mid-market activity, we haven’t seen problems. There are still a lot of deals in CEE, which seems to be immune.

“While we’ve had one or two deals pulled, activity is still high and we’re still recruiting in banking and finance, which is quite unusual. Where we might see a downturn is private equity activity in Western Europe; maybe the deal values will be lower.”

Salans is growing rapidly. In the 2006 calendar year revenue hit $206m (£112m), which represented an increase of 21 per cent from 2005’s $170m (£93.4m).

Salans’ chief operating officer has stated that the firm will drop dollars to bill in euros from the start of 2008 to reflect the growing importance to its business of Continental Europe.