Lord Bell bullish as pre-tax Chime profits rocket

Chime Communications has posted an impressive 51 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.

The figures, to the year ended 31 December 2006, show the UK-based marketing group scoring a 17.3 per cent increase in operating income across the Bell Pottinger Public Relations Group to £47.8m.

PR contributes to 61 per cent of Chime's income.

‘We have no evidence that the growth won't continue through 2007,' said Chime chairman Lord Bell. ‘Business continues to move from awareness to influence, which is good news for PR.'

He added that PR was better equipped than advertising to cope with digital markets.

‘Digital change has not affected PR in terms of costs in the same way it affects advertising. The costs of communicating to an online audience are similar to those associated with an offline audience,' said Bell.

Bell was particularly encouraged by the number of clients that used more than one Bell Pottinger agency - a focus of the group's restructure last year.

‘In the past year we've moved from 183 companies using a combination of our services to 215,' said Bell. ‘Qatar Financial Center is a satisfying contract because it comprises advertising as well as PR, which is the holy grail.'

Bell's comments came in the week that the Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority hired Mark Morley, head of media relations at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, as its head of corporate communications.

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