Friday, 15 June 2018

CMS cites ‘19%’ UK profitability hike as turnover tops £500m in first post-merger results

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CMS cites ‘19%’ UK profitability hike as turnover tops £500m in first post-merger results

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang has released a selection of financial highlights for the year following its three-way merger but disappointingly kept some key metrics under wrap.

The firm revealed on 14 June that the 25 offices in its UK LLP turned over £518m in the year to April 2018, £29m up on the consolidated results of the three legacy firms Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang, which merged in May last year.

It said like-for-like profitability was up 19%, but did not disclose profit or profit per equity partner (PEP). Like-for-like comparisons are difficult, however, because Nabarro and Olswang did not release their financials in the year before the merger.

‘Collectively we have achieved a tremendous result in our first year together as a combined firm,’ UK senior partner Penelope Warne said. ‘It has been a transformational year for our people, filled with new opportunities and challenges and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together.’

LLP books published in January provide some light. They revealed revenue at Olswang plummeted 14% to £99.96m in 2016/17, were marginally up 1% at Nabarro to £131.14m and up 4% to £273.2m at CMS Cameron McKenna. This year’s combined turnover is therefore up about 3% from last year’s £504m.

The LLP accounts also showed operating profits fell at all three legacy firms in the pre-merger year. They were down an eye-catching 76% to £8.36m at Olswang, while Nabarro saw a more modest decrease from £47.9m to £42.6m and Cameron McKenna fell from £74.1m to £71.5m. The combined operating profits were therefore about £122m in 2016/17.

This year’s highlights include advising HP on its $1.05bn acquisition of Samsung’s printer division and LandSec on the £1.28bn disposal of its joint venture interest holding in 20 Fenchurch Street to LKK Health Products Group. The firm also picked up a sole legal provider mandate for the Crown Estate’s £2.5bn regional retail portfolio.

The firm also released today global revenue for the broader CMS international group, which hit €1.3bn in the 2017 calendar year, up 31% from last year’s €999m. It means the alliance, which includes 74 offices in 42 countries combined together under a European Economic Interest Grouping, returned to growth after a flat 2016.

The firm was busy expanding globally last year, striking an alliance in Saudi Arabia and opening a new office in Monaco.

marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk