Huntsworth posts 3.4% increase in PR revenue, companywide drop in income

LONDON: Huntsworth, a London-based PR and healthcare communications company, reported a 3.4% increase in PR revenue for its first half of 2008 on a like-by-like basis, which excludes effects of currency movements, compared with the year-ago period.

LONDON: Huntsworth, a London-based PR and healthcare communications company, reported a 3.4% increase in PR revenue for its first half of 2008 on a like-by-like basis, which excludes effects of currency movements, compared with the year-ago period.

For the six months ending June 30, 2008, PR revenue, which represents 75% of the group's revenue, increased to about $110.2 million (£59.9 million). Its firms, which specialize in public affairs, financial and corporate communications, and healthcare, include US offices for Red Consultancy, Citigate, ApotheCom, Axiom, Curatio CME Institute, Dorland Global, evoke interaction, and Helix.

In a statement, the company's chief executive, Peter Chadlington, noted that financial PR “suffered the most” as merger and acquisition activity fell. Public affairs, crisis management, and CSR brands and companies “did reasonably well” as demand levels were maintained or grew in the current economic client. Corporate, consumer, and healthcare also did well, benefitting from cuts to corporates' cuts to ad budgets, he added.

The company's total revenue rose 2.5% to $148.1 million (£80.5 million) for the first half of 2008. Revenue is the US (2.7%) and Western Europe (0.9%) declined while Asia (21.5%), Eastern Europe (10.2%), and the UK (4.8%) reported growth.

Profit for the period decreased to about $2 million (£1.1 million) so far this year, as compared to $8.5 million (£4.6 million) in the same time last year.

Revenue for Huntsworth Health, which represents about a quarter of its business, grew 0.2% to $37.9 million (£20.6 million). Huntsworth Health acquired Dorland and Axis in 2007 and the company's report noted, “We expect a similar pattern of growth in the second half of this year, the intensive phase of consolidation and rapid margin improvement is now substantially complete and we are moving into the next phase.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to these results as the "second half" rather than the "first half" of 2008.

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