Chime profits rise for first half of 2008

Chime Communications, the owner of VCCP, has reported a 27.3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £8.2 million for the first half of 2008.

Operating profits rose 24.9 per cent to £9.1 million and operating income climbed 24.2 per cent to £54.5 million.

The group's advertising and marketing services division saw the biggest increase, with a 58 per cent rise in operating profits to £3.8 million and a 42 per cent rise in operating income to £22.7 million.

Lord Bell, the chairman of Chime Communications, said its direct marketing agency, Stephens Francis Whitson, in which it is a majority shareholder, performed well, as did its sales promotion arm Branded Moments of Truth. He said VCCP had a mixed half-year, but that it did not give cause for concern.

He added that he remained positive for the year ahead, given that the group had already met 90 per cent of its new-business target for 2008.

"It is a strange environment because newspapers are full of doom and gloom and our shares are half what they were a year ago, but our performance is better," he said.