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ILH revenue defies drop in trading

ILH revenue defies drop in trading

Integrated Legal Holdings (ILH) has announced its 2011/12 first half financial results.

The ASX-listed legal services aggregation businesses revenue has grown 24 per cent and its earnings per share are up 12 per cent.

ILH managing director Graeme Fowler attributed the company’s net profit of $970,123 to “more of the same” business strategy.

“Continued acquisition growth and organic growth from our existing member firms is our core strategy, so we don’t change it too much,” Fowler told Lawyers Weekly.

In August 2011, ILH acquired Sydney-based commercial law firm PLN Lawyers Pty Ltd (PLN) under tuck-in arrangements with the existing member firm Argyle Lawyers.

PLN clients include Australian, Asian, American and European-based companies and financial institutions with business interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

The firm relocated and integrated into the offices of Argyle, with the combined firm having six principals, approximately 40 staff and annual fee income of more than $10 million.

ILH expects to generate earnings improvements through cross-referrals, as well as cost synergies such as premises.

“We spend a lot of time making sure that firms are culturally a good fit,” said Fowler. “We’re all about growth and improvement, working together and group synergies going forward.”

IHL reported that all its member firms, which along with Argyle and PLN include Talbot Olivier, Signet Lawyers and Civic Lawyers, experienced below-expected revenue and reduced client activity during the period from 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011.

However, ILH directors expect growth in earnings per share for the full year 2011/12, provided there are reasonable trading conditions in the second half of the year.

ILH’s strategy is to support the growth and expansion of a limited number of core member firms into major businesses with competitive advantage through the scope and scale of their operations, as part of a publicly listed group.

Acquisitions are structured with employment constraints and conditions consistent with the company’s disciplined acquisition model and strict criteria.

“If a law firm joins us as a stand alone firm, they continue to operate in the same way with the same people in charge, but under some strategy boundaries that we put in place around profitability targets, governance and risk management,” said Fowler.

“It’s very important that the firm continues to manage itself. I’m not a lawyer, I’m an accountant.”

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