PEP bounces back at BLP up 35 per cent to £542k, revenues at £246m

Berwin Leighton Paisner has unveiled a 5.6 per cent rise in turnover for the 2013/14 financial year to £246m and boosted profit per equity partner (PEP) to £542,000.

Berwin Leighton Paisner
BLP managing partner Neville Eisenburg

Last year the firm’s revenue dropped 5 per cent from £246m to £233m for 2012/13 but the firm delayed releasing its PEP figure until September, when it emerged the firm had seen a 38 per cent drop in net profit.

During the 2012/13 financial year net profit dropped from £63.6m to £39.4m, giving the firm a profit margin of 17 per cent, while PEP fell 39.2 per cent from £660,000 to £401,000 (30 September 2013). The firm described those results as a “blip”.

PEP has climbed again, rising 35.2 per cent to £542,000 though the firm has not yet released its net profit figure. While PEP is up, it remains a long way off the firm’s giddy heights of 2010/11 when the figure soared 56 per cent to £712,000 (27 May 2011).

The following year, at the end of 2011/12, PEP dipped again falling 7 per cent to to £660,000. Turnover for the same period rose by 10 per cent from £229m to £246m. At the end of the 2013/14 financial year the firm has returned to that position.

However, at the end of the 2012/13 financial year, BLP increased its total debt by 134 per cent from £14.78m to £34.59m. The firm’s LLP accounts in January revealed that the debt increase was largely the result of the more than tripling of BLP’s bank borrowings, with loans due within a year rising by 223 per cent from £13.94m to £45m (2 January 2014).

BLP said debt had reduced over the last financial year, falling by £7m to approximately £27m.

The firm has launched a range of new products and services over the last 12 months and said the financial boost was driven in part by its international presence.

Managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “Our international offices showed strong growth, with Russia and Germany turning in particularly good performances. Profit growth was generated from an increase in high quality client mandates, growth in international offices and cost savings. Our bank borrowings are significantly reduced.

The results follow a year of change within the firm, who reshaped its finance team at the beginning of the year following the exit of finance head Matthew Kellett and exits of several partners (10 March 2014). Kellett left at the end of 2013 (30 October 2013).

BLP: A year in figures
Year Turnover (£m)  Change (%) PEP (£k) Change (%)
2013/14 246 5.6 542 35.2
2012/13 233 -5.3 401 -39.2
2011/12 246 7.4 660 -7.3
2010/11 229 19.9 712 56.5
2009/10 191 6.1 455 9.9
2008/09 180 -3.2 414 -33.2
2007/08 186 10.1 620 -6
2006/07 169 16.6 660 4.7
2005/06 145 19.8 630 10.5
2004/05 121   570  
Source: TheLawyerUK200