LONDON—Business at Huntsworth has picked up in recent months, with revenues declining by 0.9 percent in the third quarter. The group was its operations are now on track to meet management expectations for 2013 amid “initial signs of a pick-up in some areas of the public relations market.”
Citigate, the company’s financial public relations division, increased revenues by 7.7 percent; Huntsworth Health (33 percent of Group revenues) was up 3.3 percent; the rate of revenue decline in Grayling (45 percent) has slowed to 5.4 percent and The Red Consultancy (8 percent of Group) saw a decline of 3.9 percent.
According to Sally Withey, group chief operating officer: “In the marketing services sector, public relations is normally the last area to go into a recessionary period and is also usually the last out. In the past, financial public relations has been the first area to show signs of recovery, followed by the specialist practice areas such as healthcare with the consumer and corporate sectors being the last to recover.
In recent years, Huntsworth’s revenue growth has been severely impacted by the unprecedented recession in Europe and the UK, which together account for around 60 percent of Group revenues. However, net debt has now fallen to under £40 million and the Group continues to invest in the USA, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
In October, the Group received £36.5 million equity investment from Blue Focus, the leading PR and communication company in China. The alliance has started well with one major new shared annual contract and several smaller project initiatives.