Incepta Takes Revenue Hit from Terrorist Attacks
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Incepta Takes Revenue Hit from Terrorist Attacks

Incepta Group, parent of investor relations specialist Citigate Dewe Rogerson and technology public relations powerhouse Citigate Cunningham, has cut 160 jobs worldwide as a result of a decline in business.

Paul Holmes

LONDON, October 12—Incepta Group, parent of investor relations specialist Citigate Dewe Rogerson and technology public relations powerhouse Citigate Cunningham, has cut 160 jobs worldwide as a result of a decline in business. The company says the terrorist attacks of September 11 resulted in a one-time blow to revenues of around £2.5 million.
 
Incepta chairman David Wright told shareholders last week that he was unable to forecast second-half trading because of the uncertainty created by the terrorist attacks. “Visibility is so short that I don’t know what trading is going to be like in three months time,” he said in an interview. “All we have to do is to voice a little bit of caution in the market. I am not going to promise something I can’t deliver.”
 
Shares in Incepta were off by as much as 18 percent in the wake of the announcement, before recovering to trade about 7 percent down. The stock has lost about 80 percent of its value this year, but Wright insists he intends to remain independent.
 
“We feel that we have not done anything wrong,” says Wright, “but in these markets it is difficult to get that message across.” He refused to rule out further job losses.
 
The decline in the company’s share price came despite the fact that Incepta was able to report a pretax profit of £14.6 million for the six months ending August 31, up from £14.2 million last year. But that is before exceptional charges of £3.9 million related to the closure of public relations offices in Miami and Denver. Revenue was up 29 percent to £146.5 million.
 
Wright says the company has suffered less than many of its competitors because it has less of its business in the consumer sector. The biggest losses have involved its technology PR operations in the U.S.
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