Chime boosted by PR growth

Chime Communications, owner of Bell Pottinger, has reported a 19 per cent increase in annual pre-tax profits driven by the strong performance of its PR businesses.

Lord Bell: chairman of Chime Communications
Lord Bell: chairman of Chime Communications

The company said the outlook for 2009 was ‘uncertain', but that so far the impact on the businesses affected by the downturn has been offset by those still growing.

Its results were boosted by an ‘extremely good' year for its public relations division, which enjoyed a particularly strong second half.

The group's PR business, which includes Bell Pottinger, Good Relations, Harvard and Insight, saw operating income climb 13 per-cent year-on-year to £61.3m. Chime said that costs had been ‘very carefully' controlled, meaning this increase in PR income resulted in a 30 per cent rise in operating profit to £12.1m.

Operating profit margin was 19.7 per cent, which compares favourably to the figure of 17.3 per cent over 2007 and 18.6 per cent over the first half of 2008.

Overall pre-tax profit for 2008 was £16.3m, compared with £13.8m over the previous year. Its operating income rose 16 per cent to £112.1m and revenue from continuing operations rose 34.3 per cent to £277.4m


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