Huntsworth records double-digit profit rise despite flat revenue growth

Huntsworth has announced a rise in operating profits of 18.6%, but flat revenue growth during the first half of this year.

Lord Chadlington: Huntsworth CEO
Lord Chadlington: Huntsworth CEO

The UK-listed comms group announced this morning that operating profit was £13.7m during the first six months, compared to £11.5m for the first half of last year. Pre-tax profit rose by 20.8% to £11.6m.

Like-for-like revenue during the period was £88.2m, just 0.5% higher than last year.

Huntsworth includes agencies such as Grayling UK, Citigate Dewe Rogerson and The Red Consultancy.

The stand-out performer was Red, which saw revenues increase by 13.1% during the first half. Huntsworth Health also saw like-for-like revenue growth (2%), but Grayling and Citigate saw revenues hit by 1% and 4.6% respectively.

CEO Lord Chadlington pointed to the 21% increase in profit before tax, commenting: ‘This is a result of our rigorous cost control combined with the changing profile of the Group’s revenue stream gathering pace with global and multi-office revenues growing strongly in the period and now accounting for almost half of Group revenues.

These large multi-office account wins, which are typically on multi-year contracts, have taken time to come on stream but are now established and providing a firm revenue base across most markets, despite the challenging macro-economic environment which is increasingly impacting the expected decline in smaller single office revenues.

The group saw global and multi office revenues rise to 49% of group revenues, compared to 46 per cent for the same period last year.

Meanwhile, net debt was £69.6m, down £1.5m compared to the end of last year.

Chadlington remained cautious in terms of outlook: 'We naturally remain cautious given the macro environment but progress in our multi-office and digital revenues are encouraging with a robust pipeline of new business for the second half and beyond.’

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