Grayling shines as Huntsworth US H1 revenues rise 4.8%

LONDON: Global PR and healthcare communications group Huntsworth's US revenue was up 4.8% year over year in first half 2011 trading.

LONDON: Global PR and healthcare communications group Huntsworth's US revenue was up 4.8% year over year in first half 2011 trading.

Overall group revenue was up 1.6% for the six months ending June 30, with 34% of revenues coming from the US. Increases were also seen in the UK and Eastern Europe, but revenues for Western European countries were down 4.7%.

Huntsworth's overall revenue was $143.5 million*, up from $141.7 million in H1 2010. Earnings in Q1 were flat but grew 3.3% in Q2. Group agencies include Grayling, Citigate, Huntsworth Health, Red, and Atomic PR, which was acquired in March.

Closing net debt was $118.2 million, reflecting a large deferred consideration payment to Huntsworth's healthcare business and the acquisition of Atomic PR. The first Grayling Atomic office has been established in London and the group is converting further offices in key European markets.

Atomic contributed $4.6 million to revenue and $980,000 to pretax profit since being acquired. If the acquisition had been completed on the first day of the financial year, group revenues for the period would have been $146.8 million and operating profit would have been $14.3 million.

Grayling, which launched as a global division 18 months ago as part of a restructure in which Huntsworth slimmed 26 brands down to four to better compete for multinational accounts, fared particularly well in Q2, with like-for-like revenue growth of 5.6%.

Divisional revenues for H1 showed Grayling up 2.6%, Huntsworth Health up 2.1%, Red up 1.8%, and Citigate down 2.5%. Grayling accounted for 49% of the group's revenues in H1, and achieved a number of significant account wins, including British Airways and DHL.

Huntsworth Health made up 29% of the group's H1 revenues, and signed 13 new clients thus far for the year. Citigate brought in 13% of the group's H1 revenues, with Red contributing 7%.

"Subject to global economic circumstances, we expect to start the next calendar year with accelerating revenue growth," Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington said in a statement. "We are very well placed to meet our targeted like-for-like growth rate of 7% during 2011 and remain confident of meeting our revenue expectations in 2012."

Global and multi-office business accounted for 46% of revenue, up from 33% prior to the company's major restructure in 2009.

Huntsworth announced that in future it will report quarterly like-for-like growth rates. The company has 70 offices in 21 countries and employs nearly 1,700 people.

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

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