Law firm Murgitroyd’s shares down as profits fall

Shares of Glasgow-based intellectual property law firm Murgitroyd Group fell another 7% on Monday after it said profit before tax fell 30% to £1.48 million in the six months to November 30, 2016.

Murgitroyd shares fell to around 382p, giving the firm a current stock market value of around £35 million.

On January 24, Murgitroyd shares fell about 20% after it warned in a trading update that its full year results would fall short of market forecasts.

For the six months to November 30, Murgitroyd said revenue rose 5.3% to £21.45 million.

“This growth includes the first revenue from Murgitroyd’s new search and docketing group based in Managua, Nicaragua,” said Murgitroyd.

Murgitroyd said its basic earnings per share fell 31.4% to 12p but that it has proposed an interim dividend of 5p per share, an increase of 5.2%.

While the impact on interim profit of the group’s most recent acquisition was anticipated, the combination of a significant increase in investments and lower than anticipated revenue growth has led to a decline in profits for the first half,” said Ian Murgitroyd, group chairman.

“Notwithstanding the current contraction in interim earnings and continuing external uncertainties, the board remains confident that it can deliver sustainable long-term growth and value to shareholders, reflected in the continuation of the progressive dividend policy.  

“Profitable organic expansion of its client base and revenue, through targeted business development and the attraction and retention of high quality staff, coupled with economies of scale and effective cost control, are central planks of the group’s growth strategy.