The PRCA had already announced a nine per cent growth in turnover in the year to 31 March 2018, reaching £3.4m as 36 in-house teams and 63 agencies joined the association.
Accounts published this week on Companies House show the PRCA reported a pre-tax deficit of £40,453 in the financial year, having reported a pre-tax surplus of £7,482 in the previous 12 months.
PRCA director general Francis Ingham said the organisation "chose to make a loss" in the financial year "as we invested in services and profile decisions which paid off handsomely in 2018-19".
He said these included opening a Singapore office, seeing through the merger with the APPC, being awarded the management of LGComms, and taking on the running of the Marketing Agencies Action Group, along with growing membership. Ingham added: "Given we are now unquestionably the largest PR professional body in the world, I’d say it was money well spent."
"Ambitious professional bodies don’t seek to build up reserves pointlessly at the expense of their members’ bank balances. So sometimes we make a surplus, and sometimes we make a loss, while always maintaining a healthy reserve. Since 2006, we’ve enjoyed twice the number of post-tax profit years as we have post-tax loss years, and have grown turnover in every single one of those years, normally by double digits."
Meanwhile, the PRCA has announced a series of initiatives to mark its 50th anniversary in 2019, including a celebratory book, a birthday party in November and a PRCA Fellows debate.