Bond Pearce merger cost Dickinson Dees £728,000, accounts show

Dickinson Dees’ final-year profits were dented by an exceptional cost of £728,000 attributable to the firm’s May 2013 merger with Bond Pearce, LLP accounts have revealed.

The firm’s turnover rose by 3.3 per cent between 2011/12 and 2012/13, from £45.8m to £47.3m. Meanwhile net profit dropped by 8.3 per cent, from £11.8m to £10.8m, once tax and the exceptional merger costs were taken into account.

The results contrast with the audited accounts for merger partner Bond Pearce, which reported significant increases in both turnover and net profit last year (5 December 2013).

The two firms merged on 1 May last year (6 December 2012), a move which cost Dickinson Dees £727,525 in legal, professional and restructuring costs.

Dickinson Dees’ net debt also rose during the year. The firm began 2012/13 with net debt of £4.9m, but a £727,000 rise in the firm’s overdraft and a £1.1m increase in bank borrowings – set against a £741,000 rise in cash – meant that it ended the financial year with net debt of £6m.

The amount due to the LLP member with the largest entitlement to profit last year went up, from £274,000 in 2011/12 to £300,000. The number of LLP members dropped, from 64 the previous year to 60.

Staff costs rose slightly from £20m to £20.8m, with overall staff numbers slipping from 611 to 604.

Dickinson Dees changed its name to Bond Dickinson following the merger, with Bond Pearce transferring its trade and assets into the merged entity.