Minster Law has reported a £1.9m profit for 2018 (2017: -£2.6M) on turnover of £35.1m (2017: £36.0m) in its annual report and accounts. CEO Shirley Woolham said the result was a “tremendous achievement in tough trading conditions, and creates a platform for a further step-change in performance as we prepare for the 2020s.”
Shirley said the Yorkshire-based firm, which currently specialises in personal injury, delivered a near 5.0% improvement in gross profit margin to 36.1% (2017: 31.8%), underlining the benefits of a programme of transformation to improve operational efficiency.
She said: “Improving operational efficiency and scalability was a key achievement last year and is a direct result of our investment in IT, automation and digital claims. This has been a top priority as we prepare for the post-reform world in personal injury, where margins will be thinner and most volume claims will be processed online.
“Any business in our sector that has not borne down hard on its fixed costs faces a bleak future,” she said.
“Our results are also supported by a 21% reduction in administration costs, driven mainly by our consolidation into a single HQ in Wakefield. The hard work of the past 18 months has paid off. Minster Law is an efficient, debt-free business with an ambitious strategy. We’re well positioned to accelerate our competitiveness in the market, further invest in our digital capability, pursue acquisition opportunities and diversify into new revenue streams beyond personal injury.”
“We maintained a relentless focus on achieving great outcomes for our customers, a key Minster Law performance indicator, so I’m pleased to report that within the year we secured over £130m worth of damages on their behalf.”
Looking ahead, Shirley said: “These results enable us to continue to press ahead with our plans to create a broader legal services business to meet the needs of Insurers and brokers in the 2020s.” She noted that might include acquisitions where they make long-term strategic sense. “We are keen to talk to other market players who share our values and sense of ambition.”
Her other priority includes “seeking out and signing strategic partnerships with suppliers that have market-leading expertise in areas that complement our own.”
She cited Minster Law’s recent tie-up with Plantec (part of Kindertons Accident Management), to provide a specialist claims service for Principal Insurance’s motorbike customers, as an example of cooperation with partners across different claims disciplines to provide outstanding customer service for insurer clients.