StockMarketWire.com - Business recovery practice Begbies Traynor Group posts a fall in first half pre-tax profits after a 'challenging trading period for our profession'. Revenues fell to £20.8m, from £21.4m, and adjusted pretax profit fell to £1.9m, from £2.3m.

The group said the results were in line with market forecasts.

Executive chairman Ric Traynor said: "Despite a challenging trading period for our profession, with reductions in national insolvency volumes to the lowest level since 2007, we have continued to trade profitably, with results in line with market expectations.

"We have mitigated the full impact of market conditions through acquisitions completed in the current and prior year and continued cost discipline, and we have retained our market-leading position in terms of number of insolvency appointments.

"We anticipate some improvement in trading levels in the second half of the financial year, over the traditionally busier winter months as we experienced in the previous financial year. The last four months of the financial year will also benefit from the post-acquisition trading profits from the Eddisons acquisition announced today, which is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

"Overall, the group remains well placed to take advantage of opportunities to develop and enhance the business, both organically and through selective acquisitions."

Separately, the group announced that it has conditionally agreed to acquire Eddisons Commercial (Holdings), a leading UK-based national firm of chartered surveyors with a specialism in the valuation and disposal of property and business assets.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, an initial £5 million consideration in cash is payable on completion funded through a Vendor Placing and further potential payments, in cash or equity, of up to £3.5 million may become payable contingent on financial performance, namely:

· £1.5 million cash payable on account over four years, with historic payments subject to claw back if the business subsequently underperforms;

· £1.5 million cash or equity payable after four years, based on Eddisons' cumulative performance over the four year review period;

· £0.5 million cash or equity payable between five and eight years post Acquisition.

The group also announced an equity fundraising to raise approximately £5.3 million (before costs)

- £5 million via vendor placing to satisfy initial consideration

- £0.3 million via cash placing for transaction costs

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