Huntsworth, owner of Citigate, Huntsworth Health and Grayling Global, saw half-year profits increase by 21.9 per cent and said it was on course to meet annual expectations. Pre-tax profits rose to £12.2m. 'Our business is in good shape. We have achieved 49 per cent of 2008 consensus revenues, profits before tax and earnings per share,' said Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington.
WPP, which owns Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Finsbury and Cohn & Wolfe, increased PR and public relations revenue by more than £40m in the fist six months of 2008. Continuing a buoyant year for the discipline, revenue in the sector rose £43.1m to £356.1m when compared with the same period in 2007. Reported operating profit rose to £54.3m from £43.7m. As a whole, the WPP Group, which is the world's second-biggest advertising company, said first-half profit rose 14 per cent as sales in Asia and Latin America made up for slower growth in Europe and the US.
BT Financial Services has brought in GreenTarget for a UK media relations and analyst relations brief. BT Financial Services had used FD, which did not repitch for the brief. The BT arm serves the retail banking and insurance sectors.
The Wriglesworth Consultancy has promoted Mark Baker to board director, swelling its numbers to five. Baker is Wriglesworth's head of research. He joined the consultancy in 2003 following a City career as an equities analyst at Alliance Capital, Schroder Investment Management and Barclays.
The ABI (Association of British Insurers) has appointed a new director of corporate affairs. Huw Evans will join the ABI in the autumn from the Royal Bank of Scotland group, where he is a senior member of the group strategy team. He has also worked as a special adviser at Downing Street and the Home Office. He replaces Alan Leaman, who left the ABI in July. Evans said of the new job: 'The wide range of issues that the insurance industry deals with on a day-to-day, and year-to-year, basis will make this a hugely testing and enjoyable role. I am very much looking forward to supporting the ABI's members in the challenges that lie ahead.'