Trade mark attorney firm Murgitroyd inks acquisition

Scotland’s only listed firm of patent and trade mark attorneys has unveiled an acquisition south of the Border and a leadership change as it posted a leap in interim revenue and profits – and hailed potential benefits from Brexit.

Edward Murgitroyd is becoming chief executive of Murgitroyd Group. Picture: J1s Photography.

Glasgow-based Murgitroyd has inked what it said is an “earnings-enhancing” acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Chapman IP, a UK attorney practice based in the south of England, for about £6.6 million.

Additionally, the chief executive and finance director roles have been split with Edward Murgitroyd becoming chief executive of Murgitroyd Group, after four years leading the operating business, and Keith Young continuing as finance director.

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In the six months to 30 November, revenue showed a year-on-year increase of 5 per cent to £22.67 million and profit before income tax jumped to £1.7m from £1.67m. The company also proposed an interim dividend of 7p per share, an increase of 7.7 per cent.

Chairman Ian Murgitroyd commented: “I am pleased to report an increase in both revenue and profit before tax, which has allowed us again to propose an increased interim dividend, despite continuing macro-economic and political uncertainties.

“While Murgitroyd operates in a market with good long-term prospects, we are not complacent and will continue our capital investment programme initiated in 2018 through the current financial year, underpinning our future growth plans.

“Reflecting the continuing importance to the group of its European patent and trade mark attorney practice, the acquisition of Southampton-based Chapman IP complements Murgitroyd’s existing European network and client base. The acquisition is expected to be earnings-enhancing for Murgitroyd in the first full financial year following completion.”

The firm said Brexit has already prompted some upside in revenues with clients now filing a trade mark both in the UK and in Europe, having previously only filed in the EU.

It also said a further potential upside to activity levels and revenues “could be expected when Brexit occurs resulting from opportunities to take on professional representation of trade mark and registered design right portfolios for clients, where owners’ existing EU-based advisors can no longer act for clients in the UK”.

Ian Murgitroyd also said: “We remain confident that we can continue to deliver sustainable long-term growth and value to shareholders, whilst maintaining our progressive dividend policy.”