M&C Saatchi rings up £16m pre-tax profit

M&C Saatchi has reported a 22% year-on-year rise in revenues to £153.1m, with statutory pre-tax profits doubling to £16m.

David Kershaw: group chief executive, M&C Saatchi
David Kershaw: group chief executive, M&C Saatchi

Reporting its results for the year to 31 December 2011 today, the group chief executive David Kershaw claimed it was "the best year-on-year growth in revenue since our flotation in 2004".

Profit growth was more restrained under the group's preferred measure of headline operating profit, which showed a 17% rise to £15.6m.

The group includes the eponymous creative agency as well as direct agency Lida, media agency Walker Media and brand consultancy Clear.

Organic revenue growth was 20% at a global level and 25% at a UK level.

In the UK the group’s mobile business is doing "particularly well", according to the group, but Walker Media’s margins "continue to be eroded by the pressure on media buying remuneration".

Walker lost the £40m global Barclays media account to Maxus in September, in what M&C Saatchi claimed was "a procurement driven pitch", but the group added the agency has a "unique" offering and "a healthy new business pipeline".

Kershaw said: "We are reaping the benefits of our growing global network and the roll-out of our growth specialist businesses such as M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment and M&C Saatchi Mobile.

"2012 has started well. Despite uncertainty with the macro environment we are benefitting from new revenues from the significant wins last year, such as O2. In addition, we have already had further new business success with Etihad, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Edgars in South Africa."

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