SEC Newgate in 'healthy' position with H1 pre-tax profit to exceed €1.5m

SEC Newgate expects pre-tax profit for the first half of 2020 to top €1.5m, with results ahead of management expectations despite the impact of the coronavirus.

SEC Newgate in 'healthy' position with H1 pre-tax profit to exceed €1.5m

The owner of PR agencies including Newgate and Newington described its position as "healthy" in its half-year results update this morning.

Turnover in H1 was €31.5m, up from €13.7m in the same period in 2019 – prior to the group's formation last September from the merger of Porta and Italian group SEC. Net debt at 30 June was €6.1m (2019 full year: €8.7m).

The company said it has "performed profitably" across its key markets of the UK, Australia and Italy, with other markets "also delivering positive results, particularly Belgium and France".

SEC Newgate said it had implemented cost savings of €3.4m in the year to date. That includes assistance from local governments alongside "operational cost reductions realised by the management" amid the pandemic. SEC Newgate deputy group chief executive Emma Kane told PRWeek in April the group was considering participating in employer support schemes in different markets.

Last month, SEC Newgate announced it was taking its first steps into North America via a joint venture with US agency Bellwether Strategies. It also launched a €1.5m artificial intelligence platform called True to track client reputations.

Group chief executive Fiorenzo Tagliabue said today: “Current trading reflects the group’s healthy state, despite the pandemic that hit the global economy. We believe our focus on clients, global strategic approach to targeting international prospects, and investments in innovation are the keys to unleashing the group’s success and its ability to grow its profitability. During the second half of the year we are going to launch the English release of True, allowing us to offer this ultimate tool in reputation management and prediction to a wider panel of international clients.”

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