Which ad agency is the most profitable?

Latest data from Kingston Smith reveals all.

Skoda: created by Fallon
Skoda: created by Fallon

Kingston Smith's latest report shows which agencies had the highest profit margins last year and which shop's staff made the most fee income per head.

Top 50 agencies by operating profit margin

Company name Year end Latest Previous Change
% % %
1 Fallon London Limited 31/12/2017 31.56 17.89 13.67
2 VCCP Group LLP 31/12/2017 28.67 23.37 5.30
3 Krow Communications Limited 31/12/2017 26.17 26.16 0.01
4 Langland Advertising Design and Marketing Limited 31/12/2017 23.98 13.23 10.75
5 Maverick Advertising & Design Limited 30/06/2017 21.95 11.79 10.16
6 DDB UK Investments Limited 31/12/2017 19.85 26.43 (6.58)
7 Innocean Worldwide UK Limited 31/12/2017 18.96 19.30 (0.34)
8 Accord Marketing Limited 31/03/2018 18.89 23.85 (4.96)
9 HPS Marketing Communications Limited 31/10/2016 18.56 16.76 1.80
10 AKA Promotions Limited 25/03/2017 17.65 15.79 1.86
11 Karmarama Limited 31/08/2017 16.49 4.64 11.85
12 Connect Advertising & Marketing LLP 31/05/2017 16.38 20.95 (4.57)
13 St Luke's Communications Limited 31/12/2017 16.20 22.88 (6.68)
14 Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO Limited 31/12/2017 16.00 15.04 0.96
15 ThinkBDW Ltd 31/12/2017 15.82 17.44 (1.62)
16 Publicis Limited 31/12/2017 15.41 (8.50) 23.91
17 Lawton Communications Group Limited 31/12/2017 15.40 (3.12) 18.52
18 Anomaly London LLP 31/12/2016 15.04 (9.54) 24.58
19 Leagas Delaney - London Limited 31/12/2017 14.60 6.53 8.07
20 The Red Brick Road Limited 31/12/2017 13.36 10.35 3.01
21 Spark44 Limited 31/03/2018 13.25 10.38 2.87
22 Young & Rubicam Group Limited 31/12/2017 12.45 18.40 (5.95)
23 Grey Advertising Limited 31/12/2017 12.16 14.33 (2.17)
24 Bray Leino Limited 31/12/2017 11.93 11.55 0.38
25 McCann WorldGroup UK 31/12/2017 11.55 8.14 3.41
26 FCB Inferno Limited 31/12/2017 11.42 10.18 1.24
27 The & Partners Group Limited 31/12/2017 11.33 10.77 0.56
28 Aylesworth Fleming Limited 30/06/2017 11.13 6.93 4.20
29 Leo Burnett Limited 31/12/2017 10.95 16.19 (5.24)
30 Mother London Limited 31/12/2017 10.68 8.96 1.72
31 TBWA UK Group Ltd 31/12/2017 10.28 22.37 (12.09)
32 Cello Signal Limited 31/12/2017 10.04 8.66 1.38
33 Home Marketing Limited 31/12/2017 9.87 23.03 (13.16)
34 Wednesday London Limited 31/12/2017 9.41 43.33 (33.92)
35 Engine Acquisition Limited 31/12/2017 9.17 2.06 7.11
36 Wieden & Kennedy UK Limited 31/12/2017 8.51 (0.28) 8.79
37 Ogilvy & Mather Group (Holdings) Limited 31/12/2017 8.03 4.90 3.13
38 Golley Slater Group Limited 31/03/2018 7.87 6.37 1.50
39 Big Dog Agency Limited 31/12/2017 6.24 6.97 (0.73)
40 Saatchi & Saatchi Group Ltd 31/12/2017 6.08 6.55 (0.47)
41 Cogent Elliott Limited 31/12/2017 4.82 (7.46) 12.28
42 Cheil Europe Limited 31/12/2017 4.27 (45.97) 50.24
43 BMB London LLP 31/12/2017 3.11 (29.24) 32.35
44 J. Walter Thompson Group Limited 31/12/2017 (1.25) 5.94 (7.19)
45 Oliver Marketing Limited 31/12/2017 (1.75) (0.89) (0.86)
46 Dentsu McGarryBowen UK Limited 31/12/2016 (2.50) (14.34) 11.84
47 Havas Worldwide London Limited 31/12/2017 (6.71) (27.85) 21.14
48 Mullenlowe London Limited 31/12/2017 (8.95) (3.83) (5.12)
49 M&C Saatchi (UK) Limited 31/12/2017 (17.51) (13.51) (4.00)
50 BBH Partners LLP 31/12/2017 n/a n/a n/a

Fallon was the UK ad agency with the highest profit margin last year – a healthy 31.56%. VCCP followed close behind with 28.67% – growth of 5.3% from 2016.

TBWA saw one of the biggest drops, a 12% decrease year on year, while Cheil recorded the biggest increase of 50.24%.

Top 10 ad agencies by gross income per head

Company name Year end  Latest  Previous Change
 £000s  £000s %
1 Saatchi & Saatchi Group Ltd 31/12/2017  172,487  143,378 20.30
2 Leo Burnett Limited 31/12/2017  163,821  149,438 9.62
3 Mother London Limited 31/12/2017  161,458  161,769 (0.19)
4 Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO Limited 31/12/2017  160,837  149,795 7.37
5 Wieden & Kennedy UK Limited 31/12/2017  160,676  143,337 12.10
6 Fallon London Limited 31/12/2017  158,265  183,216 (13.62)
7 M&C Saatchi (UK) Limited 31/12/2017  157,814  118,462 33.22
8 Leagas Delaney - London Limited 31/12/2017  157,261  122,067 28.83
9 Innocean Worldwide UK Limited 31/12/2017  150,811  157,875 (4.47)
10 Young & Rubicam Group Limited 31/12/2017  146,599  148,451 (1.25)

Saatchi & Saatchi had the highest gross income per head at £172,487, a 20% increase on the previous year. 

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett, Mother, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Wieden & Kennedy all posted a figure that's higher than £160,000.

Kingston Smith advises that agencies should have a target of between £100,000 and £120,000 per head to be a healthy business.

Become a member of Campaign from just £51 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content