Creston optimistic despite second-quarter revenue drop

Creston, the UK-listed marketing and PR group, has reported a five per cent revenue drop over the past three months and flat performance in its comms businesses.

Don Elgie: Creston CEO
Don Elgie: Creston CEO

The owner of Nelson Bostock, Fever and Red Door Communications said that during the three months to 30 June 2013 (the first quarter of Creston's financial year) like-for-like revenues were five per cent lower, ‘largely due to the previously announced loss of a client in the health division’.

The group did say that it was currently ahead of expectations and was ‘encouraged by the potential for this to positively impact revenue in the remainder of the year’.

The performance of its comms division was ‘broadly flat’, the group said.

It has pitched for ten different contracts for the Government Procurement Service and has been awarded a contract for integrated marketing services, which is one of only two such contracts commissioned so far by the Government in its main roster. News of the other pitches is expected in the coming weeks.

Also during the period it picked up comms briefs with Bentley, Sony PlayStation, Reckitt Benckiser and Sainsbury’s.

In other areas, the group saw a decline in like-for-like revenues in its health business, while its insight division reported an increase in revenue.

The group's outlook is cautiously optimistic, pointing to client demand for digital work and an increasing focus on cross-agency pitches.

Don Elgie, group chief executive, said: ‘The IPA Bellwether Report on client sentiment towards increased marketing spend is the most encouraging for six years.

'At Creston we are seeing this being borne out by high levels of new business activity and while opportunities must always be converted, the level of pitching we are seeing is the highest I can remember. Based on our historic pitch to win ratio, we are confident that this will lead to further underlying growth in our client base.’

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