Incepta's pre-tax profits down four per cent to £26m

The Citigate PR brand's parent group Incepta said this week signs of a significant market recovery are fragile as it recorded a pre-tax profit slide of four per cent to £26m.

The group - which owns Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Citigate Technology, Citigate Public Affairs and The Red Consultancy - confirmed it had made 240 staff redundant, or ten per cent of its global headcount, last year to counteract the effects of the downturn.

But despite the restructuring, which cost £8.5m, pre-tax profits took a hit and the group is braced for no year-on-year increase in revenues, according to a forecast issued alongside results for the year to February.

Incepta CEO Richard Nichols said the US tech market was largely to blame, alongside a drop-off in corporate activity.

He said there are 'tentative signs of recovery' in the market, but added: 'It's difficult to conclude that we're going to see a significant upturn in activity in 2002.'

Incepta's PR offerings represent 50 per cent of gross revenue, which rose 11 per cent to £170.8m.

The group said financial and corporate PR showed continued growth in the US and Europe, whereas the UK suffered a major decline in IPOs.

Leader, p8.

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