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          Full year results for the year ended 30 April 2019 - Strong organic growth with significant progress against medium term targets

          DWF, the global legal business providing Complex, Managed and Connected Services, today issues its full year results for the year ended 30 April 2019.

          Date: 31/07/2019

          DWF, the global legal business providing Complex, Managed and Connected Services, today issues its full year results for the year ended 30 April 2019.

           

          GROUP FINANCIAL SUMMARY

          £m

          FY 2019

          FY 2018

          Change

          Net revenue

          272.4

          236.5

          +15%

          Gross profit

          145.5

          125.6

          +16%

          Gross profit margin (%)

          53.4%

          53.1%

          +30bps

          Adjusted EBITDA

          33.6

          30.7

          +9%

          Adjusted PBT

          26.1

          23.1

          +13%

          Non-underlying items and share based payments expense

          (13.8)

          (1.9)

           

          Reported PBT

          12.3

          21.2

           

          Profit after tax

          12.2

          21.1

           

          Adjusted diluted EPS (pence)

          6.8p

          6.2p

           

          Reported diluted EPS (pence)

          4.5p

          7.7p

           

          Net debt

          35.3

          54.1

           

           

          Andrew Leaitherland, Group Chief Executive Officer commented:

           

          "These results mark the end of a milestone year for DWF, in which we became the largest listed full service legal business on the London Stock Exchange. I am pleased to report another strong period of revenue and profit growth for our maiden results post IPO, driven by an uplift across all four divisions, with International and Connected Services the standout performers. The Group delivered 15% growth – 12.5% of which was on an underlying organic basis – emphasising the strength of our unique business model.

          We have made significant progress against strategy, taking meaningful strides towards our medium-term targets, and expect our diversified and differentiated business model to continue driving long-term sustainable growth. We are committed to recruiting and retaining leading industry talent which is underpinning our broadened service offering and revenue growth. Following a period of reduced M&A activity due to preparation for the IPO, we are maintaining discipline in identifying value-add acquisitions and associations to add scale, build on our sector expertise and develop our international presence.”

           

          FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

          • 15% increase in Group revenue from £236.5m to £272.4m
            • 78.7% growth in International division
            • 23.3% growth in Connected Services
            • 6.0% in Commercial Services
            • 2.8% in Insurance Services
          • Underlying organic revenue growth[1] of 12.5%
          • Adjusted EBITDA2 of £33.6m, increased by 9% (FY 2018: £30.7m)
          • Reported PBT of £12.3m (FY 2018: £21.2m)
            • Reduction due to one off non-underlying costs relating to IPO
            • Adjusted PBT3 of £26.1m (FY 2018 £23.1m), growth of 12.9%
          • Reported diluted EPS of 4.5p (FY 2018: 7.7p)
          • Adjusted diluted EPS4 of 6.8p (FY 2018: 6.2p)
          • 12 day reduction, equivalent to 9% improvement, in debtor days5
          • 15 day increase in WIP days5 resulting in gross lock-up days5 of 203 (2018: 200 days)
          • Closing net debt5 of £35.3m (FY 2018: £54.1m)
          • Net debt/Adjusted EBITDA of 1.0 (FY 2018: 1.8) is in line with guidance
          • Proposed final dividend per share of 1.0p

           

          OPERATIONAL AND STRATEGIC PERFORMANCE

          • Revenue per partner accelerated 9% to £857.6k as recent partner hires ramp up to full delivery
          • Net increase of 20 new partners in the period will support ongoing underlying organic growth
          • Gross margin up 0.3 percentage points ('ppts') to 53.4% driven by improvements across all divisions with International and Connected showing strongest growth in line with expectations
          • Cost to income ratio6 of 43.1% (FY 2018: 43.2%)
          • Entered into an exclusive association with Wood, Smith, Henning and Berman LLP in North America
          • 7 new panel wins since IPO
          • Investment in new key executive hires

           

          OUTLOOK AND CURRENT TRADING

          • Entered into an exclusive association with RCD in Spain in June 2019
          • As announced in May 2019, we completed the acquisition of K&L Gates Jamka in Poland
          • Secured a new 5 year contract with BT within the Managed Services platform
          • The new financial year has started well and management is confident of the outlook for the full year

           

          [1] Underlying organic revenue growth eliminates the impacts of acquisitions

          [2] Adjusted EBITDA is defined in note 2

          [3] Adjusted PBT is defined in note 2

          [4] Adjusted diluted EPS is defined in note 8

          [5] Debtor days, WIP days, Gross lock-up days and net debt are defined in note 22

          [6] Cost to income ratio is defined as administrative expenses (less non-underlying items, share based payments expense and adjusted for changes made in the adoption of IFRS 15 Revenue Recognition and IFRS 9 Financial Instruments) divided by net revenue

           

          For further information:

           

          DWF Group plc 

          James Igoe, Head of Comms                                      +44(0)20 7280 8929

          Finsbury

          Charles O'Brien                                                            +44(0)20 7251 3801

           

          About the Company

          DWF is a global legal business providing complex, managed and connected services, operating from 27 key locations with approximately 3,200 people. The Company became the first Main Market Premium Listed legal business on the London Stock Exchange in March 2019. DWF recorded revenue of £272.4 million in the year ended 30 April 2019. For more information visit: www.dwf.law

           

          Forward looking statements

          This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the Company's current targets, expectations and projections about future performance, anticipated events or trends and other matters that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements, which sometimes use words such as "aim", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "plan" "estimate", "expect" and words of similar meaning, include all matters that are not historical facts and reflect the directors' beliefs and expectations and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results and performance to differ materially from any expected future results or performance expressed or implied by the forward-looking statement.