Saatchi & Saatchi London turned in a profit in the six months to
the end of June, despite account losses.
Announcing the group’s interim results on Monday, the chairman, Bob
Seelert, said that the UK office continued to make a strong earnings
contribution to the group.
In the UK, revenue decreased 3.9 per cent to pounds 29.4 million
compared with pounds 30.6 million the previous year, following a number
of client losses including the high-profile National Lottery.
But the agency managed to offset some of the losses with cost cuts,
resulting in a 6.3 per cent rise in profits to pounds 3.4 million.
’The losses in the UK were mainly the result of conflicts but, in spite
of these, the agency remains a financially healthy organisation. The UK
is still a bedrock within the group,’ Seelert said.
Seelert added that the agency was seeking ways to improve creativity and
client servicing, a process that has seen the appointment of David Droga
as executive creative director and an on-going restructure.
However, Seelert refused to comment on rumours that a new UK chairman is
to be appointed.
He also set a target to increase Saatchis’ overall profit margin to 12
per cent by the end of 2001. Saatchis achieved net billings of pounds
216 million in the first half, while group turnover rose 4.5 per cent to
pounds 211.7 million.
North America, which accounts for half of the group’s revenues, saw a 38
per cent rise in profits to pounds 10.5 million.
The agency paid its first interim dividend in a decade of 0.6p per