Continued strong operational progress and robust cash generation
Knights, one of the fastest growing legal and professional services businesses in the UK, today provides a trading update for the half year ended 31 October 2021. Highlights of which include:
- Revenue of c.£59.7m representing growth of 29% (H1 21: £46.2m)
- Underlying adjusted PBT of c.£7.6m representing growth of 26% (H1 21: £6.0m)
- Underlying PBT margin maintained at 13% (H1 21: 13%)
- Cash conversion remains excellent
- Industry leading lockup of 99 days, underpinned by debtor days of 33 despite integration of new recruits and recent acquisitions
- Net debt as at 31 October 2021 of £23.1m (FY 21: £21.1m) after £5.8m of acquisition consideration and related costs
The Group has delivered another strong financial performance in line with Board expectations, reflecting strong organic growth and contributions from acquisitions integrated over the past year.
The strong recruitment momentum experienced in H1 21 has been maintained, with the Group continuing to attract high calibre talent, the majority from Top 50 law firms, who are attracted by Knights’ unique business model and collaborative culture.
The Group has successfully integrated the acquisitions of Keebles and Mundays, strengthening the Group’s footprint in the Yorkshire and South East regions.
Post period end the Group further expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Archers, a leading full-service independent law firm operating in the Teesside area, with early signs indicating a strong cultural fit across the business. The acquisition provides a platform for further organic growth in the North East, a new region for Knights and one currently undergoing significant public and private investment.
The recently announced extended £60m Revolving Credit Facility provides further flexibility for the Group to selectively execute on its pipeline of acquisitions, in line with its strategy to become the leading legal and professional services business outside London.
Despite the continued growth, cash generation has remained robust with industry leading lock-up and debtor days reflecting the strong culture and discipline of day-to-day cash collection across the Group.
David Beech, CEO of Knights, commented:
“We are delighted to report another strong period of profitable growth, during which we have maintained the excellent discipline of financial management that is central to our culture.
“With continued momentum in recruiting, we look forward to the second half with confidence and we are well placed to continue to selectively execute acquisition opportunities to further strengthen our position in key legal services markets outside London.”
Knights will provide a further update on trading with its half year results announcement on 11 January 2022.