LONDON—Chime Communications, parent company of U.K. public relations powerhouse Bell Pottinger Group, has reported a first-half increase in operating income of 22 percent (including 5 percent organic growth) to £71.1 million and an increase in operating profit of 35 percent to £12.8 million, and sounded a positive note about growth in 2010.
“Chime is the success story of the marcoms industry over the last few years,” said Chime chairman Lord Tim Bell in a statement. “Our half-year compound annual growth in profits before tax since 2005 has been 30 percent.In the same period we have nearly doubled our full year earnings per share and more than doubled our dividend per share. All this while the economies of the U.K. and developed world have suffered the credit crunch, the recession, the Euro crisis and many other problems; and the marcoms sector declined with the vast majority of our competitors reporting a fall in profits.”
Commenting on the results, Bell said Chime would look to increasingly diversify away from the still-troubled U.K. economy and into growth regions like Brazil, where it plans to open an office—focused on sports marketing and the upcoming 2014 World Cup—later this year. In the first half, the firm opened an Asian office for its recently-acquired Pelham Bell Pottinger operation.
He also pointed to the fact that the company derives less than 1 percent of its revenues from the U.K. public sector, which has been subjected to significant cuts by the new coalition government.