Acquisition-hungry Scottish Radio Holdings has snapped up
Manchester-based poster company Signways for pounds 4.15 million in
Since March, SRH, a radio and press owner, has muscled its way on to the
outdoor scene by acquiring Glasgow based Trainer, Bristol-based Parkin
Advertising and Birmingham-based Vision Posters. SRH has added 450 sites
in Manchester to its roster as a result of the Signways purchase.
Signways will become part of SRH’s Score Outdoor division, which was
created earlier this month.
Score’s sales strategy is to sell under the original company names on a
regional basis, while selling a variety of national packages from a new
centralised sales house in London. Signways’ sales team will stay on
after the acquisition, although managing director Frank Follows has
retired and will be replaced by the Score management.
Last year, Signways generated pre-tax profits of pounds 84,000 on a
turnover of pounds 1,225,000, a margin of just under 7 per cent. But
Chris Trainer, chief executive of Score, was confident margins would
’Outdoor is a great business to buy in to at the moment,’ he said.
’Especially in the medium-term given the fragmentation of TV. There’s no
reason you can’t be working on a 30 per cent margin.
’Signways has superb locations,’ Trainer added, ’but there is potential
for investment in areas such as illumination.’
He said he was relatively unworried about buying into outdoor at a time
when a ban on tobacco advertising is imminent. ’We’ve known about it for
a long time, and we have now reduced our dependency to around 5 per cent
of our turnover.’
Outdoor rivals acknowledged that Signways was a good buy ’at a good