Slater and Gordon on the long road to recovery

Written on the 30 August 2018 by Paris Faint

Slater and Gordon on the long road to recovery

Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) continues to cut its losses on the long claw back from the $1 billion hit it sustained at the hands of a disastrous acquisition in the United Kingdom over two years ago.

The Melbourne-headquartered law firm today posted its first profit since the botched acquisition of UK business Quindell in 2015 which resulted in a $1 billion loss the following half.

However, the positive result of $145.6 million was only bolstered by Slater and Gordon's one-off gain when it disposed of its UK assets in December 2017.

The company otherwise ran at a net loss on continuing operations at $31.9 million, improving from its $74.5 million loss in 2017.

Chair James MacKenzie says the results reflect the firm's significant transformation over the past twelve months, however he admits there's still a long way to go.

"The last twelve months have been a period of significant change for Slater & Gordon," says MacKenzie.

"We have implemented a strong program of initiatives we believe will set us up for long-term sustainabilty so we can continue to unlock access to justic e for the thousands of Australians who need our help.

"However, the transformation remains a work in progress."

While Slater and Gordon remains in the red, there was no shortage of work when it came to class actions in FY18.

Most notably, the company became the fourth Aussie law firm to launch a class action against disgraced financial services provider AMP in June.

The company also announced in April that it was going ahead with a class action against one of Australia's largest milk suppliers, Murray Goulburn, alleging that the company misled its investors.

Slater and Gordon appointed former KPMG Australia national managing partner John Somervile as its new CEO in February 2018, alongside former head of personal injury law - Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania Dina Tutungi as chief client officer in June.

Belinda Nucifora will step down from her role as chief financial officer on Friday to return to Sydney and pursue other oportunities outside the company.

Slater and Gordon's closing price on Wednesday afternoon was $3.38, a far cry from before the acqusiition of Quindell when it was sitting pretty at $697.68.

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Business News Australia

Author: Paris Faint





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