- Business recovery practice Begbies Traynor Tuesday raised its annual dividend for the first time since 2011 as net debt fell and annual profit before tax rose sharply amid recent acquisitions and ongoing investments.

For the year ended 30 April 2018, pre-tax profit nearly quadrupled to £2.3m from £0.6m the previous year, revenues rose 5.4% to £52.4m.

Business recovery and financial advisory activities contributed £2.1m to the uptick in revenue, while acquisitions contributed £0.6m.

Market levels of activity in insolvency were broadly in line with the prior year, helping the company's business recovery and financial advisory business grow revenue and profit.

The property services business saw revenues grow by £0.7m for the year.

Net debt fell to £7.5m for the year, the lowest since 2007, from £10.3m the previous year.

The board has proposed a total dividend of 2.4p per share, up 9.1% from a year ago. This was the company's first proposed increase in its annual dividend since 2011.

The company said its expectations for the new financial year remained unchanged.

'We anticipate continuing our track record of earnings growth in the new financial year. With the benefit of a full year contribution from the Springboard and CJM acquisitions together with anticipated revenue growth from our ongoing organic investments, our expectations remain unchanged,' the company said.

At 8:07am: [LON:BEG] Begbies Traynor Group PLC share price was +0.2p at 69.6p

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