Citigate inspires hope amid Huntsworth revenue decline

Citigate, the financial PR division of Huntsworth, has increased its third-quarter revenue by 7.7% year-on-year.

LONDON: Citigate, the financial PR division of Huntsworth, has increased its third-quarter revenue by 7.7% year-on-year.

Although Huntsworth's overall revenues were down 0.9%, the group pointed to initial signs of a pick-up in some areas of the PR market.

Citigate's performance was an improvement compared with the first half of the year, when it did not see any growth over the same period of 2012.

There was also improvement at Grayling, where the rate of revenue decline slowed to 5.4%.

However, Huntsworth Health's growth slowed markedly to 3.3%, and the Red Consultancy was hit by its first revenue drop. Red's 3.9% fall followed a lack of growth in the first half of the year.

“In the marketing services sector, public relations is normally the last area to go into a recessionary period and is also usually the last out,” said Sally Withey, COO of Huntsworth. “In the past, financial PR has been the first area to show signs of recovery, followed by the specialist practice areas, such as healthcare, with the consumer and corporate sectors being the last to recover. This pattern is reflected in our Q3 results.”

Net debt fell to under £40 million, or about $64.1 million, after the group received a £36.5 million ($58.5 million) equity investment from Chinese marketing services group BlueFocus in October.

Withey said the strategic alliance started well, with one major new shared annual contract and several smaller project initiatives.

“We are now working closely with UK Trade and Investment in the British Embassy, and we expect this to generate more business both inside and outside China during 2014,” she said.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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