CMS Cameron McKenna has kicked off the financial reporting season by announcing a slight rise in turnover alongside a 15 per cent drop in its average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure.

Camerons, the first top 20 firm to release its figures for the 2008-09 financial year, saw its revenues increase from £235.5m to £240m.

However, its profits fell to £72m, causing PEP to tumble to £554,000.  The results were in stark contrast to last year’s figures when turnover rose by 15 per cent and PEP rocketed by 30 per cent to a firm record £650,000.

Managing partner Duncan Weston (pictured) declared the firm’s performance over the last year “very reasonable” given the economic climate, adding: “It’s no surprise that profits are down, but our cash collections have improved year on year, which we’re particularly pleased with.”

The firm also reported that referrals between the CMS alliance firms had increased by an average of 45 per cent, following last year’s vote on closer co-operation between the nine members firms.

Only two other firms have unveiled their financial results so far. Insurance specialist Weightmans saw turnover rise four per cent (11 May), while Halliwells’ revenue fell 4.6 per cent to £87m (6 May). Neither firm released profit figures, but Halliwells managing partner Ian Austin said he expected PEP to remain in line with last year’s figure.