Saatchis insists that it will stay independent

Saatchi & Saatchi repeated its intention last week to stay independent as it unveiled an increase in pre-tax profits of 4 per cent to pounds 36.3 million for the year ending 31 December.

Saatchi & Saatchi repeated its intention last week to stay

independent as it unveiled an increase in pre-tax profits of 4 per cent

to pounds 36.3 million for the year ending 31 December.



Saatchis’ strong share price and a series of mergers and acquisitions in

the industry have refuelled bid rumours.



However, Kevin Roberts, the worldwide chief executive of Saatchis,

denied the agency would ’sell out’.



’We are not in discussions with Grey or any other group. We will remain

independent because we believe you don’t have to be big to have great

ideas. We’ve been part of a network but bought ourselves out because we

want to be in control of our own destiny,’ Roberts said.



He added: ’We believe there is room for one global creative boutique and

that is what Saatchi & Saatchi is.’



Saatchis’ operating profits grew by 25 per cent to pounds 35.5 million,

up from pounds 28.3 million last year. Group revenues rose 12.5 per cent

on an on-going basis.



UK revenues were down 1.2 per cent to pounds 57.5 million as accounts

lost or resigned because of conflicts were not offset by new business

wins.



Operating profit also fell by 7.9 per cent to pounds 7 million. Business

lost in the UK last year included the pounds 13 million Norwich Union

account, the pounds 10 million Muller account and Flash, Procter &

Gamble’s pounds 6 million detergent brand. The agency’s biggest win was

Sony Europe.



Zenith Media revenues grew by 16 per cent with dollars 150 million

global media business from HSBC and the consolidation of Mars’ dollars

150 million UK media buying.



It said that online business has increased 150 per cent and constitutes

2.5 per cent of revenues. A further 5.5 per cent of revenues come from

e-commerce companies which delivered more than dollars 200 million of

incremental billings.



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