Cripps sees 10 per cent profit rise as turnover remains static

A strong showing from property and private client has seen South East firm Cripps Harries Hall post a 10.8 per cent rise in net profit for the 2009-10 financial year.

The firm’s net profit rose from £5.1m in 2008-09 to £5.65m in 2009-10, though turnover remained static at £19.2m. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) stood at £220,000, up 7 per cent from £205,000 last year.

The Tunbridge Wells-headquartered firm was one of three to make the Crossrail panel last year, and continues to pick up work on the centre:mk shopping centre project in Milton Keynes and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link project.

It also continues to benefit from its long-standing Mexican-Wave relationship with legacy Hogan Lovells firm Lovells. The tie-up has seen Cripps pick up a significant volume of work from Prudential.

Managing partner Jonathan Denny admitted he was surprised by the results. “This beat our budgets by a very wide margin,” he said. “The first half of the year was difficult but the second part was better than we could have expected.

“The very high calibre of our clients has seen us through a difficult period in good shape. I think it surprises a lot of people that a firm of our size is doing this level of work.”

Private client accounts for around 35-40 per cent of the firm’s revenue. Denny added: “Happily, private client is one of those areas that seems to be there come rain or shine. We’re very happy to have that part of our business.”

The firm said that its profit-related pool was more than double the budgeted amount and that all staff would receive bonuses of between 6 to 25 per cent.

It managed to avoid making the large-scale redundancies seen by some of its competitors, partly by implementing a four-day week for some staff last year (27 June 2009).