LONDON—Huntsworth, the parent of public relations firms Citigate Dewe Rogers, Grayling and The Red Consultancy and healthcare communications specialist Huntsworth Health, saw its organic revenues decline by 4.7 percent in 2009—outperforming the industry as a whole—and ended the year with revenues of £156.3 million compared to £159.1 million in 2008.
The company reported profit before tax at £23.4 million (compared to £24.0 million in 2008) although after highlighted items, there was a loss of £9.8 million.
According to chief executive Peter Chadlington, “2009 has proved to be another robust period of trading for the Huntsworth Group. During the height of the global financial crisis, profit before tax and basic earnings per share were broadly in line with our previous record results in 2008. The group has also continued to deliver operating margins of over 20 percent which is clear evidence of the strength and flexibility of our model.”
He pointed to a better than 20 percent increase in multi-office business, and to the fact that following the merger of Trimedia, Mmd and Grayling under the Grayling brand, the firm was now pitching for global mandates and starting to win larger assignments. In addition, the acquisition of Washington, D.C., government affairs firm Dutko is expected to provide the foundation for a global public affairs business,
“With net new business wins up 108 percent in January on the previous year and a strong final quarter to 2009, we believe the recovery trend has continued and that the Huntsworth portfolio is well placed to benefit from it,” says Chadlington.