LONDON—Huntsworth, parent company of Citigate Cunningham, Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Grayling Global, Mmd, The Red Consultancy and Trimedia, among others, reported revenue growth of 14 percent in the first half of 2008. Revenues for the first half were £80.5 million, and the group says it now has 89 percent of targeted revenues committed for the current year and is on course to meet full year expectations.
Public relations revenue growth was 3.4 percent on a like-for-like basis in the first half of 2008, hit by a significant decline in financial transactions business. Excluding the impact of mergers and acquisitions and IPOs—a particularly significant source of income at Citigate Dewe Rogerson—underlying growth was about 5.7 percent, and the group saw its financial retainer business hold steady, and enjoyed double digit growth in both consumer and public affairs business.
According to chief executive Peter Chadlington, “Our business is in good shape. In the first half, we have achieved 49 percent of 2008 consensus revenues, profits before tax, and earnings per share. Given the economic uncertainly, we have considerable scope to maintain margins… and the flexibility to face profitably any further deterioration in the economy.” He noted that the group has 63 percent of its 2009 income already committed.
Chadlington said the consumer business was benefiting “as clients put more money behind public relations in order to keep their product in front of the public” even as they cut back on advertising.