Clydes spends £45m on international growth

Clydes spends £45m on international growthClyde & Co has borrowed nearly £45m to help fund its international expansion programme, the firm’s LLP accounts for 2007-08 reveal.

The firm’s debt rose to £44.6m this year, following the expansion of its Middle East practice and the opening of two offices in the US in the last two years.

Much of the money is owed to trade creditors, paying for equipment to fit out new office space. According to the accounts, the firm owes £15m to trade creditors, the largest single debt. It also owes £13m in bank loans and overdrafts, due within one year.

Clydes finance director Ian McAndrew said the firm was now reaping the rewards of its investment in a global network.

Its turnover and profit both grew significantly during the 2007-08 financial year, with turnover increasing 17 per cent to £158m and profit soaring from £38m to £47m.

McAndrew said: “We’ve certainly had a good financial period. We’ve invested quite heavily in expanding internationally and some of the benefits of that are now coming through.”

He added that the firm was “not uncomfortable” with its level of debt.

Included in its outlay for the financial year is £3.8m on buildings, on top of £5.5m from the previous year.

The firm has invested heavily to bulk up its presence in the US after opening there in 2006. It has also been recruiting aggressively in the Middle East, requiring more office space to house its staff. Its lease obligations rose from £8m to £9.5m during the last financial year.

Clydes, which specialises in international trade, has a large network of overseas offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the US and South America.