Murgitroyd hikes dividend as first-half profits rise

Patent attorney Murgitroyd today announced an 11.8 per cent increase in its interim dividend as it unveiled a rise in earnings.

The European Patent Office headquarters in Munich: Murgitroyd said the US is the largest source of patent filings there

The Glasgow-based firm said shareholders will receive a payout of 4.75p a share on 25 March, up from 4.25p a year ago.

The hike was announced as Aim-quoted Murgitroyd reported a 6.6 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £2.11 million for the six months to the end of November, on revenues 5.7 per cent higher at a record £20.38m.

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Executive chairman Ian Murgitroyd said: “This is the first time that the group has reported revenue in excess of £20m in the first half of the year, which reflects the return on ongoing investment in the operating businesses’ people, systems and processes. Furthermore the group has continued to pay down debt in the first half.”

As at 30 November, the remaining term loan debt owed by the firm amounted to £704,000 – down from £1,364,000 a year earlier.

Murgitroyd, who founded the business in 1975, added: “We continue to see strong growth in revenue from the USA, which remains both a key geographical area for investment and an important growth market. It is the largest source of European patent applications and our growing presence there offsets weaker European demand.

“Trading since the reporting date has been in line with management expectations.”