PROFITS at Glasgow-based patent attorneys Murgitroyd fell by 11 per cent in the year to the end of May due in part to costs associated with the acquisition of a search and docketing business in Nicaragua.

Turnover for the year rose by nearly five per cent to £44.3 million while pre-tax profits were down from £4.3m to £3.8m.

Chairman Ian Murgitroyd said profits were hit in the first half of the year “by a combination of non-recurring costs associated with the group’s acquisition in Nicaragua and a significant increase in the level of investment in business development, sales and marketing, and lower than expected revenue growth”.

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“I am pleased to be able to report the return to earnings growth in the second half of the financial year, after a first half that saw the group absorb the one-off transaction and integration costs of its most recent acquisition,” he added.

Mr Murgitroyd said that as more than half the firm’s fees are billed in dollars and euros, sterling’s weakness in the wake of the Brexit vote proved helpful.

“A weakening in sterling represents a net benefit to the group,” he added.

The firm has proposed a final dividend of 12 p, bring its total for the year to 17p.