Bird & Bird’s net debt rises 20 per cent in expansive year

Bird & Bird’s net debt rose last year by 20 per cent to €27.1m (£22.4m), the firm’s LLP accounts have shown.

Bird & Bird, which calculates its accounts in euros, recorded an overdraft and revolving credit facility of €21m in the year ending April 2013, up from €13.6m the year before. The larger overdraft facility pushed up the firm’s net debt from €22.5m to €27.1m. 

However the LLP’s four bank loans totalled €12.8m at the year end, down from €15.5m the year before. These include a €1.2m loan taken out in January 2013 and two further loans which are due to be repaid in November 2014, one for €4.6m and one designated in sterling for the equivalent of €9.6m.

Meanwhile the highest-paid partner for the year took in €1.1m (£907,000), a small increase on the €1m (£825,000) recorded the year before.

Profit attributable to the LLP was €60.2m during the year, down 7 per cent from €64.6m the year before. Audited turnover rose by 8 per cent from €270.7m to €293.3m, a slightly higher rise than the 6 per cent increase reported by the firm in June last year (4 June 2013)

The technology firm continued to invest throughout the year with two new offices in Denmark as a result of its merger with Danish IP/IT boutique Bender von Haller Dragsted (11 March 2013), and two new cooperation agreements, in Switzerland with local firm BCCC Avocats and with Australian firm, Truman Hoyle (3 April 2013).

It also added 36 new partners including 11 internal promotions.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Our net debt remains low and, unlike many other firms, it is all on the balance sheet, so our financial position remains strong. This reflects solid performance during the 2012/13 financial year despite the challenging markets at that time.”