Chime sees no effect on performance from economic downturn

LONDON - Chime Communications, owner of VCCP and Bell Pottinger, has said that there is no evidence that its performance has been affected by the economic downturn so far.

In a trading statement the company, headed by chairman Lord Bell and chief executive Chris Satterthwaite, said that operating income for the first half of 2008 is expected to be more than 20% higher for the same period last year and that all three divisions -- public relations, marketing services and research -- had shown growth.

Lord Bell said: "Our strong performance of last year has been maintained, with first half operating income 25% higher than last year. This strong performance, combined with our emphasis on tight cost control and a good new business pipeline leaves us well placed to meet our expectations for the full year."

Chime also said that it had appointed an Australian politician, Richard Alston, as a non-executive director.

Alston was Australian High Commissioner to the UK until February this year, and previously spent more than seven years, until October 2003, as the minister for communications, information technology and the arts under Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, who was voted out last year.