LBi revenues fall 5.9% in first quarter

LONDON - LBi, the digital marketing group, has said revenues for the first quarter of the year were down by 5.9% on a like-for-like basis to €34.6m, with a net loss of €2.5m.

LBi has shed 9% of its global workforce over the first quarter, a total of 150 jobs, leading to a one-off charge of €3.8m.

Without this charge, the company said that adjusted pre-tax earnings, excluding one-off charges, were up by 76.4% to £2.2m and that its profit margin had reached 10.9%, compared with 5.7% last year.

Luke Taylor, CEO of LBi, said: "Our revenue decline in the first quarter has principally occurred as a consequence of a slowdown in decision making on the client side.

"While headline budgets for digital are broadly stable or even slightly up on last year billings, project momentum has been negatively impacted by recently accelerated organisational change within the client marketing function.

"While we expect the development of the top line to remain challenging, we are confident that we can protect and indeed improve our margin over the remaining quarters."

Separately, Theo Cordesius, executive vice-president of operations, is leaving the company on May 1 after seven years, following the intensive restructuring of LBi.

He said it had been an "honour and a joy" to work for the company.