Chime Communications, the advertising, PR and marketing services group chaired by Baroness Thatcher’s favourite communications guru, Lord Tim Bell, yesterday unveiled a 43% rise in 2000 pre-tax annual profits.

Six acquisitions during the year contributed to the increase, boosting turnover from £95.2 million to £147.9m and profits from £10m to £14.3m.

The group, which includes ad agency HHCL & Partners and the UK’s largest PR shop, Bell Pottinger Communications, had not witnessed any fall in demand for its services, said Bell.

Although conceding that profit in the current fiscal is unlikely to reach the level of 2000, Bell is optimistic that Chime, which remains in acquisitive mode, will continue to grow.

Chime shares rose 10.5p to 185p.

News source: The Times (London)