Huntsworth reports 5% organic growth in PR

LONDON: Huntsworth, parent company of Citigate and The Red Consultancy, reported 5% organic growth in its PR revenues for 2008. The group, which makes up 74% the company's overall revenue, earned $172 million in 2008 revenues, down about 3% from the $177 million it earned in 2007.

LONDON: Huntsworth, parent company of Citigate and The Red Consultancy, reported 5% organic growth in its PR revenues for 2008. The group, which makes up 74% the company's overall revenue, earned $172 million in 2008 revenues, down about 3% from the $177 million it earned in 2007. The decrease was due in part to the sale of CapitalBridge in February 2008, according to Huntsworth COO Sally Withey.

Company-wide, Huntsworth's revenues increased 4.5% for the year ending December 31, 2008, to a total of $221 million. However, at constant currencies, Huntsworth's 2008 revenues decreased about 2% from the year prior. The company also upped its pretax profit about 10% to about $35 million.

The PR group's public affairs practice, which is 9% of group revenues, saw the most growth in 2008 at 33%, while projects in financial communications, which make up 4% of group revenues, declined by 25% with revenues down 4%. Consumer communications revenues increased 8% in 2008 helped by campaigns for Coors and Chevron, while corporate communications were up 6%.

Withey said the combination of political changes in the US, UK, and Europe contributed to public affairs work, and, she told PRWeek that it expects "that level of growth to continue."

Huntsworth Health, including Dorland, posted revenues of $59.6 million, which Withey described as flat.

"[We've been] focusing on margin improvement and stabilization in 2008," she said. "It's only really now that we are turning to revenue growth," which is going well so far in 2009.

In the US specifically, revenue was $60 million, up 10% from $54.6 million in 2007. Operating profit in the US was $11 million, up about 8% from $10.2 million in 2007.

Updated March 23, 2009, 1:37pm

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