The Communications Store keeps margins above benchmark in 2014 growth

The Communications Store has maintained an operating profit margin of nearly 15 per cent - four percentage points higher than the average large PR firm - as the business grew by a fifth last year, its accounts for the year to 31 December 2014 show.

Juliette Dexter: the agency's head says digital, VIP and events works have aided growth
Juliette Dexter: the agency's head says digital, VIP and events works have aided growth

The PR agency’s annual report was submitted to Companies House last week. As reported in the PRWeek Top 150 PR Consultancies in the May edition of the magazine, its income grew from £8.8m to £10.6m, meaning it maintained its place as the UK’s 28th largest agency.

Its accounts also show an operating profit margin – calculated by dividing total operating profit for those 40 firms by their total gross profit – of 14.9 per cent in 2014. While this was down from 15.6 per cent in 2013, it was still substantially higher than the average of 10.9 per cent across the UK’s 40 biggest firms reported in a survey by accounting firm Kingston Smith W1 last month.

That 14.9 per cent margin came from gross profit of a little more than £8m and operating profit of £1.2m – bottom-line profit for the financial year was £926,394.

The accounts also show that the company had an average of 100 employees in the year, up from 85 in 2013, and that 28 per cent of income came from non-UK work.

Julietta Dexter, founder of the firm, said: "In the past two years the agency has added digital services from insight and analytics to creative digital content and social campaigns to strength its client service offering. VIP services and events have also contributed to strong growth in revenue."

In February, the agency appointed corporate and retail veteran John Hoffman, formerly of Selfridges, as executive chairman, with Dexter saying he would work "to help us navigate through our next phases of development".

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