Huntsworth acquires Atomic, reports 3.8% growth in the US

LONDON: Huntsworth has acquired Atomic PR for $13.3 million, according to its earnings update, a move that further expands the London-based holding company's offering in the US.

LONDON: Huntsworth has acquired Atomic PR for $13.3 million, according to its earnings update, a move that further expands the London-based holding company's offering in the US.

Huntsworth, which restructured its brands in 2009, also acquired Washington-based Dutko Worldwide in 2009.

Both Dutko and Atomic PR, a San Francisco-based technology firm that announced a partnership with Huntsworth in 2009, fall under the Grayling umbrella of agencies.

Huntsworth said that group like-for-like revenues for 2010 declined less than 1% to $282.4 million*, compared to $254.2 million in 2009.

Profit before tax rose 14.4% to $43.4 million in 2010, compared to $38.1 million in 2009.

The company also announced that British Airways hired Grayling for a three-year PR contract in 38 countries, starting April 1. It also noted that Grayling broadened its Washington offering by adding corporate reputation management and crisis communications services to Dutko.

“Our corporate reorganisation last year is proving of great benefit to the Group as we win more large mandates for which we would not have been considered a year ago,” said Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington in the earnings statement. 

Huntsworth said that it expects Grayling, which makes up nearly half of the company's group revenues, to return to “modest growth during the second half of the year.” Grayling reported $83.2 million in total revenue for 2010.

The US market was a bright spot for the company as it reported revenues increased 3.8% to $98.7 million in 2010, compared to $70.9 million in 2009.

“The completion of our extensive corporate reorganisation and the global economic downturn, particularly in Europe, put pressure on our fee revenues in 2010,” said Chadlington in a statement.

Huntsworth reported that it had fees of $2.1 million for rebranding, $9.8 million in severance, and $2.4 million in property costs as a result of the reorganization.

*Figures converted to US dollars using XE's currency converter.

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