SEC Newgate 'operating profitably' amid coronavirus crisis

SEC Newgate says it had an "excellent start to the current year" and "continues to operate profitably" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an update to the stock market this morning, the global comms group said its biggest agencies, Newgate Communications in the UK and Newgate Australia, "both enjoyed record levels of profit before tax" for the three months to 31 March.

In addition, "a strong performance" was achieved by its agencies Cambre (Brussels), CLAI (Paris), SEC Newgate Colombia (Bogotà) and SEC and Partners (Rome).

Overall, SEC Newgate, whose agencies also include Newington, Publicasity and 2112, said it had an "excellent start to the current year with all businesses performing in line with or ahead of budget and management expectations".

The company, which formed last September from the merger of Porta and Italian group SEC, said that since the coronavirus outbreak, its agencies "have all implemented business continuity plans, working remotely under varying levels of lockdowns in their markets around the world".

"The group has taken all necessary steps to reduce any discretionary spend and ensure strong cashflow generation while ensuring it continues to develop and support its 600 people around the world, service its clients, and build market share.

"The group continues to operate profitably with teams working collaboratively and sharing best practice initiatives and experiences. All businesses have quickly adapted to the changed working environment and continue to provide first-class service to clients through online and digital engagement capabilities."

SEC Newgate also said it has "committed banking facilities available with maintainable covenants and continues to enjoy excellent relationships with its lenders to support the group through this difficult period".

Chief executive Fiorenzo Tagliabue said: “We are very pleased with the way our group is performing.

"I am extremely proud of our team, which is powered by its entrepreneurial spirit, collaborative approach, and determination to be the most-desired agency in the world. We look forward to updating the market when we announce our results at the beginning of June 2020.”

PRWeek reported last month that the company had paused new hires and is looking into a range of programmes for employers in its various markets, but did not plan to furlough staff.

SEC Newgate employs about 600 people in 15 countries.

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