Porta revealed plans to merge the two PR agencies in April, with Emma Kane, chief executive of Redleaf Communications, and Brian Tyson, managing partner at Newgate Australia, made joint CEOs of the new 100-strong firm.
In a statement ahead of its AGM today, Porta chairman John Foley said: "The business will focus on 10 key sectors where specialist technical and regulatory knowledge and a profound understanding of market drivers are needed; these include financial services and property, where we believe we have one of the most comprehensive offerings in the market."
The statement gives a brief update on trading, saying the Newgate Network in Asia Pacific, along with Redleaf and 2112 Communications in the UK, continued to be the most profitable businesses in the group.
However, Foley reiterated what the group said at its full-year results in April – that the first half of 2018 will be a "period of further consolidation of the cost base and operating structures of certain UK businesses", which will "adversely affect revenue and profits during that period".
Porta announced the departure of CEO Stefan Williams last month, almost one year after a reshuffle of the senior team following the retirement of executive chairman David Wright. Italian PR group CEO took a 19.3 per cent stake in Porta last summer.
Foley added today: "The board is confident that the group is now better positioned, both as a result of the actions taken in 2017 that began to address the group’s weakened balance sheet, which we will continue to review; and with a new senior management structure at board level to take the group forward."
Speaking to PRWeek in April about the Redleaf/Newgate merger decision, Foley said: "Redleaf and Newgate have been in the same offices since earlier this year, and also Redleaf was an acquisition where the earn-out period has now ended.
"I’ve been chairman of Porta for a year, and in that time we’ve done a fair bit: we’ve been beginning to sort out the balance sheet, we’ve got a bank line in place, the company’s profits and revenues are ok and going up.
"For the next stage in the group’s development, Brian and Emma are the right people to lead the group. Brian’s been on the board since 2017 and makes a really great contribution. Emma’s clearly a very experienced and dynamic leader in her own right, so the combination of the two of them in the UK and Australia could be very exciting for Porta."