Chime Communications reports revenue boost, but PR remains flat

Chime Communications announced its preliminary results for 2010, reporting significant rises in revenue and profit, but organic growth in its PR division remained flat.

Tim Bell: Chime chairman upbeat despite flat PR figures
Tim Bell: Chime chairman upbeat despite flat PR figures

The group reported 7% organic revenue growth and an organic rise of 21% in operating profit.

Overall operating income rose by 21% to £149.3 and the group recorded an operating profit of £27.4m – a rise of 36% over 2010's figure.

Lord Bell, chairman of Chime, said that the results marked 'another brilliant year'. He added: 'In 2011 we expect to grow both organically through strategic acquisitions and international expansion. Our Middle East business has not been affected by the turmoil in the region. We are confident of 2011 but cautious about UK and world GDP growth.'

The group's public relations business, including Bell Pottinger, Good Relations, Harvard and  Insight, posted 0% organic growth over the year, although this translated to overall revenue growth of 7% and a 19% organic boost to the divisions profits.

The company said: 'Overall the division showed growth and very good cost control which resulted in both improved profits and margin. In 2010 nearly all businesses in the group performed ahead of the previous year and there were particularly strong performances from Pelham Bell Pottinger; public affairs; our geopolitical business; corporate citizenship; property and international.'

Organic growth in its advertising and marketing services group, including VCCP, was significantly higher at 25%.

The company now has 24 offices overseas and international income has increased from 30% of group operating income in 2005 to over 50%.

Looking forward, Bell said: 'The outlook for 2011 continues to be very challenging as it has for the last three or four years. The UK continues its austerity programme and the global economy continues to be buffeted by oil price and commodity price fluctuations, but one thing is certain, the need to communicate change and the growth in impact of social media and internet campaigning appears to be never ending.

'Reputation management and the communication of real facts is more than ever essential. This is what we do and our market is more vibrant than ever.

'Our strategy is to expand both organically and through earnings enhancing acquisitions... We are cautious about the future, but confident of continued growth.'

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