Great Universal places PR order with Finsbury

Retail and marketing data firm Great Universal Stores has moved its financial PR from Brunswick to Finsbury, without a pitch.

Retail and marketing data firm Great Universal Stores has moved its

financial PR from Brunswick to Finsbury, without a pitch.



Brunswick has been working on the GUS financial account since last

November, but has been gradually replaced by Finsbury over the past two

months.



David Tyler, financial director of GUS ,said: ’We liked Finsbury’s

approach and with the arrival of a new management team we made the

choice to change.’



Finsbury’s chief task is to increase understanding of GUS’ business

among retail analysts and journalists. While GUS faces intense scrutiny

as a retail conglomerate it feels that its information services and

financial services businesses are less well understood. It is also not

widely known that the company owns up-market brand Burberrys. Mail order

now accounts for less than one-third of turnover.



Since Lord David Wolfson’s appointment as chief executive in September

1996, GUS has sought tochange the shape of its business. Earlier this

year it bought Experian, a US firm which deals in marketing lists and

credit referencing. It also divested itself of property concerns to

British Land in a pounds 900 million deal. GUS has a market

capitalisation of pounds 6.6 billion.



Its current share price is 654p, having reached a high of 706p earlier

this year.



However, doubts have been raised about GUS’ future competitiveness

because of declining performance from its catalogues. GUS holds 30 per

cent of the UK mail order sector but profits on its home shopping side

slid from pounds 145.9 million in 1995 to pounds 124.4 million during

1996.



The account win marks the end of a good summer for Finsbury, having

already won Pilkington and Laporte from Brunswick.



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