Hill Dickinson optimistic as revenues rise 6 per cent at half year

Hill Dickinson has posted a 6 per cent rise in revenue for the first half of 2013/14 up from £51.9m to £54.9m.

Hill Dickinson managing partner Peter Jackson said the firm was on track to beat set budget levels at the half year, although profit figures were yet to be determined.

“We haven’t finished our analysis of profit for this period,” he said, ”but pointers are that we will exceed budgeted profit levels. So we should see PEP increasing this year. I’m told that the pipeline is there to be on budget for the end of the year.”

At the 2012/13 year-end the firm saw turnover slide by 2.5 per cent from £110.1m to £112.8m, while net profit dropped 11 per cent to £16.9m from £19m and PEP was down 15 per cent to £264,000.

Jackson said the corporate practices in Manchester and London had been “flat out” since the start of the new financial year and that the marine practice had seen turnover increase by 18 per cent in the last twelve months.

A strategic review earlier this year led to a £2.8m cash call from partners (7 August 2013) followed by the firm cutting 83 jobs, including reducing the number of partners by 14 (30 July 2013). Jackson confirmed there are still three partners seeing out their notice at the firm but the rest of the restructuring is complete. Jackson said that cash flow at the firm had improved significantly in the first half of the year with 68 debtor days at the end of October, which is the lowest October level the firm has ever seen.

“All the signs are that we’re going to have a solid year, particularly against the background of having to restructure the business”, he added.

A number of firms have been optimistic about figures at the half-year point. DWF is continuing to see a rise thanks to its recent splurge of acquisition, with revenue up to 57.5 per cent to £93.6m (18 November 2013). 

Field Fisher Waterhouse’s (FFW) half-year global revenue has also come in ahead of budget, ringing in at £49.9m. The figure is an increase of 7 per cent on its turnover of £46.8m at the same stage last year (13 November 2013).