Upbeat forecast for Huntsworth as profits shoot up

Huntsworth Group claimed to have bucked the market trend this week with interim results showing growth in its core PR businesses and outlining a plan for fresh acquisitions.

CEO Lord Chadlington said a like-for-like revenue hike of nearly four per cent showed the group - which includes the Harrison Cowley, Counsel, Stephanie Churchill and Woodside PR brands - is outperforming the sector.

Huntsworth confirmed it planned to sell or close down two unprofitable subsidiaries, HMC and Masterguide.

Chairman Jon Foulds, who with Chadlington took over Huntsworth two years ago, admitted market conditions could prevent immediate acquisitions, but said: 'We continue to evaluate acquisitions which add value.'

Operating profits were up from £28,000 to £418,000 year on year, reflecting the first full year for its largest acquisition, Harrison Cowley. But debt soared to £6m from just £1.5m a year ago, following a multi-million pound payout to that agency's former owners.

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