Huntsworth: ‘resilient performance in tough markets'

In an interim statement released today, Huntsworth announced that its trading during the first ten months of the year had been 'satisfactory'.

Lord Chaddlington: 'Our financial position remains strong'

The communications group said that 96 per cent of full-year estimated revenue was commited and that 70 per cent of 2009 full-year revenue was also committed.

‘Our financial position remains strong,' said Peter Chadlington, CEO. ‘We are conscious that the economic downturn may affect our business adversely and clients are certainly cautious about next year... However, with our continued downward pressure on costs and our proactive management of cash and tax, we are confident in the resilience of the business.'

The company announced that its target of converting more than 100 per cent of opperating profit into cash will also be met, cutting its net debt at year end to under £40m, with £50m of unused banking facilities.

With reference to its PR division, the firm admits that financial project income has been difficult to find in the second half but that the diversification of its PR business into corporate, public affairs and tech has helped limit this impact. Huntsworth's PR agencies include Grayling, Trimedia and The Red Consultancy.

In particular its consumer, corporate and tech PR businesses continue to perform well, it says, and it will continue to spread its geographical presence - focusing on the Middle East.

In October Chadlington told PRWeek that he had urged agencies across Huntsworth to cut back on recruitment.

Last week Chime released an interim statement saying that the first ten months of 2008 outperformed the same period in 2007. Of the fifteen businesses within its PR group, twelve have achieved higher profits in the year up to October than in 2007.

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