Murgitroyd eyes overseas growth as profits rise

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PATENT attorney Murgitroyd is poised to grow its operations in France and the US after delivering a rise in first-half profits.

The Glasgow-based firm, which has 15 offices across eight countries, is looking at the possibility of expanding into Paris to serve clients using the European Union’s unified patent court, due to be introduced next year.

Murgitroyd has offices in London and Munich, where the court will cover life sciences and mechanical engineering respectively. The court’s seat will be in Paris and chief executive Keith Young told The Scotsman that the firm, which already has a presence in the south of France, could also move into the capital.

He added: “We remain a growth business, because this is a long-term game and intellectual property is a long-term asset.”

The Aim-quoted company posted a pre-tax profit of £2.27 million for the six months to the end of November, up from £2.21m for the same period a year earlier, while net fee income grew 2 per cent to £10.6m.

Young said the firm has been insulated from the worst effects of the eurozone crisis because it does not have a presence in economies such as Greece and Portugal, “but we are reasonably well spread in terms of mainland Europe, the UK and US”.

Murgitroyd has offices in California and North Carolina and the US accounts for almost a quarter of all applications filed with the European Patent Office. Young said the firm was looking to expand its operations in the world’s largest economy following a 9.5 per cent rise in US sales.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 3.75p per share, up from 3.5p a year ago.