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IN BRIEF: Keystone Law shares fall as warns of cooling lawyer demand

24th Apr 2023 14:29

Keystone Law Group PLC - London-based law firm - Reports a rise in annual revenue but flat pretax profit in the year ended January 31. Pretax profit remains essentially unchanged at GBP8.38 million, up slightly from GBP8.36 million the year prior. Revenue, meanwhile, climbs 8.1% to GBP75.3 million from GBP69.6 million year-on-year. Revenue per principal rises 4.1% to GBP190,000 from GBP182,500. Proposes a final dividend of 10.9 pence per share, down from 11.2p the prior year. Total payout for the year, however, rises to 16.1p from 15.7p. Notes "positive" start to current financial year, with levels of client demand remaining strong. Says conditions in the recruitment market are starting to change as demand for lawyers is falling from the "exceptional levels" experienced in recent years. Nonetheless, company says it remains confident that financial 2024 will be "another good year".

Chief Executive James Knight says: "Keystone has delivered another strong financial performance; growing revenue, increasing underlying profits and generating strong cashflow [...] The new financial year has started well. We have started to see demand for recruitment of lawyers across the industry cooling slightly from exceptional levels, and I am confident that as the year progresses, we will see traditional push factors generating increased candidate flow which will further support our growth."

Current stock price: 443.20p, down 5.3% on Monday afternoon in London.

12-month change: down 34%

By Heather Rydings, Alliance News senior economics reporter

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