UK marketing firms struggle for growth

05 October 2009

LONDON: The eleven marketing services companies that are publicly-listed in the UK recorded a 55% decline in profits in the first half of 2009, despite the fact their revenue levels rose by 20% during this period, a study by Fintellect, the financial research firm, has found.

The cumulative post-tax profits attributable to shareholders among these firms fell by 55.2%, to £115.9 million ($184.2m; €126.2m), from January to June, compared with £258.8m in 2008.

Chime Communications, the owner of VCCP and Bell Pottinger, posted a 9% uptick in income over the opening six months of 2009, to £5.8m, making it the strongest performer on this measure.

Motivcom, which houses operations including P&MM and Zibrant, followed in second place, with an improvement of 3%, to £1m.

While M&C Saatchi was in third, its comparative profits contracted by 25%, to £3.6m, in the timeframe assessed by Fintellect.

WPP Group, the world's biggest advertising holding group by revenue, similarly saw its profits tumble by 48%, to £108.4m.

Aegis posted a drop of 107%, to a loss of £2.1m, while Cello, the data, direct marketing and research group, recorded the worst overall figures, with profits plummeting by 379%, to a loss of £4.2m.

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff