Chime out of red as PR profits rise

Chime, the marcoms group that owns Bell Pottinger and Good Relations, is back in the black, with its PR firms posting a nine per cent operating profit rise last year.

The group, which made a loss of £11.2m in 2003, this week posted a pre-tax profit of £7m for 2004 - and is to pay its first dividend for two and a half years.

Chime also slashed group debt from £29.3m in 2003 to £6.3m. Chime chairman Lord Bell said a strong fourth quarter in 2004 had continued into the first quarter of 2005. 'After two months we are already ahead of this time last year and ahead of budget,' Bell said.

Chime's PR businesses posted an increase in operating profit to £5.3m.

- Bell Pottinger North has acquired the business of Macclesfield company Pragma PR.

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