Chime plans acquisitions as profits soar

Chime Communications, the quoted parent company of Lowe Bell Communications, has signalled its intention to join the acquisition trail in a bid to further expand the business.

Chime Communications, the quoted parent company of Lowe Bell

Communications, has signalled its intention to join the

acquisition trail in a bid to further expand the business.



Lowe Bell chairman Sir Tim Bell said that having built up a solid

business and established the Lowe Bell brand, the group was now

seeking to grow through acquisition. In particular, he said,

other businesses involved with fees, clients and people would be

considered.



He added that potential bids would not necessarily be restricted

to other PR firms. Management consultancies and headhunting firms

could also be targets.



’There are no discussions with an objective at present,’ Bell

told PR Week. ’It is simply an intention.’



Bell’s announcement coincides with a 21 per cent leap in Chime’s

operating profits for the year ended 31 December 1996. The group,

which includes Lowe Bell Consultants, Lowe Bell Financial and

Lowe Bell Political, saw operating profit grow to pounds 3

million from pounds 2.5 million in 1995.



Operating income was also up by 21 per cent to pounds 22.5

million from pounds 18.6 million last year on the back of new

business wins such as The Stationary Office by Lowe Bell

Consultants and AEA Technology by Lowe Bell Financial.



Operating income per employee was slightly down at pounds 88,000

as a result of new appointments, including Jane Atkinson, Paul

Nathanson and John Antcliffe.



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