SEC Newgate plans first dividend payment after 'positive' 2020

SEC Newgate plans to make its first dividend payment of 0.5p per share after outperforming its original budget for 2020.

CEO Fiorenzo Tagliabue: Dividend is a 'clear signal of the excellent health of our organisation and our optimism for the future'
CEO Fiorenzo Tagliabue: Dividend is a 'clear signal of the excellent health of our organisation and our optimism for the future'

The London-listed company, formed in September 2019 from the merger of Porta and Italian group SEC, today confirmed earlier expectations about its performance last year, its first as a merged entity.

The group reported pre-tax profit of €3m (2019: €1.3m) on turnover of €65.3m (2019: €47.6m). Gross profit moved from €37.6m to €56.1m. Net debt at 31 December was €7.4m, excluding an adjustment relating to lease costs - the equivalent figure for 2019 was €8.7m. Figures for 2019 include four months as the enlarged group.

SEC Newgate said that "given the very positive result" of 2020, the board proposes a dividend of 0.5p per share, reflecting the "growth of the group and the board’s confidence in the outlook".

Fiorenzo Tagliabue, group CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased with the result the group has achieved, which has outperformed our original budget for 2020, despite the global pandemic. The group has demonstrated great resilience and has delivered on its promise by developing new opportunities, getting closer to our clients and stakeholders, whilst always putting the health and safety of our colleagues at the forefront. Our first ever dividend distribution, while small in value, is a clear signal of the excellent health of our organisation and our optimism for the future.”

The dividend will need approval at the company's General Assembly on 8 June.

SEC Newgate is listed at number 30 in the global rankings by revenue in the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2021.

In January, the group announced it had increased its stake in London-based public affairs specialist Newington to 100 per cent and merged it with sister shop SEC Newgate UK. That was the first step to rebranding all its agencies SEC Newgate by the year-end, excluding consumer-focused Publicasity.

Later, SEC Newgate launched a venture in Central Eastern Europe via a partnership with two Publicis veterans and a former executive at Polish media and entertainment group TVN Grupa.

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