Rugby World Cup #WearTheRose campaign and new accounts boost M&C Saatchi PR divisions

M&C Saatchi PR and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment experienced "healthy double digital growth" in the first half of 2015, on the back of new account wins and its work on O2's 'Wear The Rose' campaign for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Wear The Rose: The O2 campaign lifted M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment in H1
Wear The Rose: The O2 campaign lifted M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment in H1

Red Bull, Paddy Power and Byron Burgers were among the new account wins for M&C Saatchi PR in the period, David Kershaw, CEO of holding company M&C Saatchi, told PRWeek this morning.

Kershaw spoke to PRWeek as M&C Saatchi reported a 13 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £9.6m in the six months to 30 June, from revenue that rose six per cent to £87.5m. Like-for-like revenue grew nine per cent and earnings increased 25 per cent to £6.4m.

Figures for the PR divisions are not given, but Kershaw said there was "healthy double digit growth" there, following "very good new wins".

He said M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment’s work on Wear The Rose was the "big driver" in that division. Yesterday an animated film was released as part of the campaign to generate support for the England team ahead of the tournament.

Kershaw said: "I think it captured the spirit of the Rugby World Cup. People like to be encouraged to get behind the team. They are using it across all media and experiences; I think it’s very powerful."

He said global rollout of the two London-based PR divisions has continued over the period. M&C Saatchi PR and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment now have a presence in the US and Australia, with the latter also in Germany and South Africa.

Kershaw said the global rollout would continue - "every year there will be more offices" - but he declined to reveal the next locations.

Across all divisions of parent company M&C Saatchi, growth in UK revenue was nine per cent, with headline operating profit in that country up five per cent.

Like-for-like revenue in Europe grew 12 per cent, and in the Middle East and Africa it increased three per cent. Like-for-like revenue in Asia & Australia and the Americas grew six per cent and nine per cent respectively.

M&C Saatchi also announced a 15 per cent increase in its interim dividend to 1.61p.

Kershaw said: "M&C Saatchi has made good headway over the first six months of 2015. We produced positive revenue momentum and earnings growth. This stems from new business wins and continuing widening of our business offering.

"Looking ahead, we are confident that we will continue to make progress in the full year and beyond. The strategy is consistent and continues to deliver."

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