Huntsworth chief predicts summer share price rise

'We've really got to perform in 2008. If Huntsworth can do well this year, it will prove how strong the industry is.'

Huntsworth chief executive Lord Chadlington is sounding bullish about the year ahead, having registered a leap in profit for 2007. Chadlington told PRWeek that he sees his group as an 'ambassador' for the industry.

'We are the only solely PR-focused group of our size,' he said. 'We need to demonstrate the strength of our industry in a difficult market. It is my mission.'

Chadlington added that shares in Huntsworth, which, like the marcoms industry in general, are relatively undervalued at the moment, could soon be re-rated.

'Shares are viewed as being undervalued because the City does not think we will meet 2008 targets,' said Chadlington. 'If we do, then we could be re-rated somewhere between now and the summer. This is the message I've been giving to shareholders.'

Chadlington expects the group's healthcare arm, Huntsworth Health, to maintain its high levels of growth. Last year, it reported 67 per cent year-on-year growth.

Huntsworth's results coincided with news that it is to bring in former Goldman Sachs partner Richard Sharp as non-executive chairman to succeed Jon Foulds, who is retiring.

Sally Withey, formerly Huntsworth group finance director, is now chief operating officer. She is responsible for 'maximising operational efficiencies, investor relations and corporate developments.'

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