Insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor upped its dividend after it saw its pretax profit increase by half in 2023.
Pretax profit climbed to £6m from £4m the year before, ahead of market expectations, leading the firm to up its dividend by nine per cent on last year to 3.8p. On an adjusted basis, which excluded the cost of acquisitions made during the year, pretax profit climbed to £20.7m from £17.8m.
During the year, Begbies has acquired property finance brokerage Mantra Capital and two chartered surveyors – Budworth Hardcastle and Mark Jenkinson & Co.
In addition, post year end, Begbies snapped up another chartered surveyor, Banks, Long & Co, to strengthen its presence in Eastern England.
Revenue grew by 11 per cent in the year, which Begbies said reflected “continued execution of our strategy to grow the business”. The increase in revenue came from the contribution from acquisitions as well as increased insolvency appointments.
Ric Traynor, executive chair of Begbies Traynor, said: “We have a proven growth strategy which, over the five year period between 2019 and 2023, has doubled revenue and tripled adjusted profit before tax, from a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. This growth has been delivered across insolvency and our full range of advisory and transactional services.”
The firm said it has started the new year in a “strong position” and has good insolvency revenue, driven by the continued increase in insolvency market volumes. It is hoping to increase its exposure to larger “more complex” insolvency appointments.
Begbies makes 80 per cent of its income from counter-cyclical activities, making it well positioned for an economic downturn.
Insolvencies are starting to rise again after falling dramatically during the pandemic. In May, insolvencies rose 40 per cent year on year to over 2,500 – the highest monthly levels since records began in January 2019. Many experts expect the trend to continue.
“We have started our new financial year confident in our outlook. The increased scale of the group with complementary professional services and an enhanced client base provides a strong platform for us to continue delivering growth,” Traynor commented.