We are pleased to announce our audited results for the year ended 30 April 2023 (“FY23” or the “Period”), which continue our unbroken record of year-on-year revenue and underlying profit growth.
The Group delivered a strong financial performance in FY23, through its diversified and resilient business model, benefitting from a full year’s contribution from the prior year’s acquisitions, Adamson Jones Limited and Gateley Smithers Purslow Limited.
The Group achieved organic revenue growth of 6.2%, despite macro-economic headwinds, which created challenging market conditions in the second half of the year.
The balance sheet remains strong and the Group has significant headroom in its banking facilities to enable investment in organic and acquisitive growth opportunities, to further the board’s diversification strategy.
We present below our financial performance for the Period both on an underlying and statutory basis. Underlying results are before the adjustments resulting from changes in acquisition accounting treatment of consideration now adopted, which has no cash impact and is explained in the Chief Financial Officer’s Review.
|Group underlying operating profit1
|Group underlying profit before tax1
|Underlying adjusted fully diluted EPS2
|Dividend per share
|Group profit before tax
|Group profit after tax
|Basic earnings per share (‘BEPS’)
For full details on the impact of the change in accounting treatment see note 25 to this announcement.
- Strong performance as a result of diversification strategy in action:
- Group organic revenue growth of 6.2%, comprising 4.9% in legal services and 18.4% in consultancy services
- Consultancy services comprise £41.8m or 25.7% of total Group revenue (FY22: £21.3m or 15.5%) – an increase of 96.4%
- Underlying operating profit margin held up well at 15.4% (FY22: 16.4%), despite inflationary pressures throughout the Period
- Net assets increased by 4.0% to £78.1m (FY22: £75.1m)
- Proposed final dividend of 6.2p (FY22: 5.5p), taking total dividends for the Period to 9.5p per share (FY22: 8.5p)
Strategic and post-Period highlights
- Business Services Platform expanded and further scale established in patent and trade mark attorney services with the acquisition of Symbiosis
- Total headcount at 30 April 2023 of 1,455 (FY22: 1,368), with increase in professional staff of 6.0% from 948 to 1,005
- Internal appointment of Victoria Garrad as Chief Operating Officer from previous position of Group HR Director
- Wider expansion of internal share ownership with FY23 result satisfying three-year performance criteria set out in the Group’s first LTIP awards scheme
- Post-Period end acquisition of RJA Consultants, further expanding the Group’s chartered surveying services and bringing further breadth to the Property Platform
- Post-Period appointment of Colin Jones as non-executive director who succeeds Suki Thompson as Chair of the Remuneration Committee
Current trading and outlook
- FY24 has started in line with the board’s expectations, with a good pipeline of work
- Integration of recently acquired businesses progressing to plan and in line with Platform strategy
- Encouraging pipeline of M&A opportunities
- The Group continues to deliver against the clear strategy set out at IPO, achieving growth and resilience through diversification, and strong returns for its stakeholders
1 Underlying operating profit and underlying profit before tax excludes remuneration for post-combination services, gain on bargain purchase, share-based payment charges, acquisition-related amortisation and exceptional items
2 Adjusted fully diluted EPS excludes remuneration for post-combination services, gain on bargain purchase, share-based payment charges, acquisition-related amortisation and exceptional items. It also adjusts for the future weighted average number of expected unissued shares from granted but unexercised share options in issue based on a share price at the end of the financial year
3 Net cash excludes IFRS 16 liabilities
Commenting, Rod Waldie, Chief Executive Officer of Gateley, said:
“I am very pleased to report another year of growth for Gateley. This is a strong performance, set against a challenging macro-economic backdrop throughout the second half. It is the result of the hard work and dedication of our people allied to a long-term commitment and adherence to the successful execution of our growth through our diversification strategy, building in resilience through design.
“During the year under review, both our legal services teams and consultancy teams performed strongly and we have made further progress in adding breadth and strength to our Group, expanding the patent and trade mark attorney offer on our Business Services Platform through the acquisition of Symbiosis. Post-Period end, we have added legal services lateral hires to strategically broaden our Business Services Platform dispute resolution teams and have further enhanced our Property Platform with the acquisition of RJA Consultants. Our M&A pipeline for FY24 is encouraging and we will seek to strengthen our Platforms further as opportunities arise.
“Looking forward, we are mindful of ongoing macro-uncertainty and it is difficult to predict market conditions for the rest of FY24. However, our diverse and resilient business model, combined with our proven and consistent track record of delivering strong growth across all economic cycles, means that we have entered FY24 with a positive mindset and cautious optimism.”