Huntsworth reports growth

London-based PR group Huntsworth has posted a strong trading update in the same week it swooped for a US healthcare firm.

Chadlington: Huntsworth CEO
Chadlington: Huntsworth CEO

Huntsworth said it expected improved growth in the second half of the year and into 2008.

So far, operating company margins for the half year are expected to exceed 20 per cent, and after central costs to exceed 15 per cent.

Huntsworth, which owns PR firms including Trimedia Harrison Cowley, Grayling and The Red Consultancy, said Hitachi in the UK and France, and PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson in ­Russia, were notable recent wins.

Separately, Huntsworth this week bought US healthcare agency AXIS Healthcare Communications for £9.2m – an acquisition that adds to its purchase of Dorland Global Corporation in March (PRWeek, 16 March).

‘The acquisition of AXIS is another important strategic step towards achieving a leadership position in the global, integrated healthcare communications business,’ said Huntsworth chief executive Lord Chadlington.

‘The services provided by AXIS complement the market research, advertising and public relations services that we already offer.’

AXIS has been acquired from Neil Matheson and six other shareholders who are members of the company’s senior management team.

Matheson will continue to lead the business following the acquisition, reporting to Huntsworth Health chief executive David Rowley.

AXIS Healthcare Communications provides a ­variety of services to the clinical, medical, marketing and sales training departments of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.

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