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Bank loans and overdrafts of £3.7m off a turnover of £23.5m are revealed in the limited-liability partnership (LLP) accounts filed by Manches for the period ending 31 December 2004. Debts increased by nearly £1m from 2003, when they stood at £2.7m.
The LLP accounts also revealed that Manches' top of equity was lower than the previously reported estimate, standing at £517,331 as opposed to £540,000.
Manches chief executive Alun Lamerton said the level of debt was "slightly higher" than he would have liked, but that it was a reflection of the increase in debtors during the year. Total debtors increased from £10.4m in 2003 to £11.2m in 2004.
Lamerton added that the total capital in the firm at the 2004 year-end was £5.8m and that the level of debt was "not a bad ratio". He added that, during the course of 2004, Manches' debt had been as little as £1m.
Figures for Manches' 2005 financial year are not yet available, but Lamerton admitted that he expected the level of debt to increase further, thanks largely to the firm's move to new premises in Oxford. He was not expecting a significant rise in the firm's average profit per equity partner figure of £195,000, although he was hopeful that it would get back above the £200,000 mark for 2005.