Tag Archives: Hasgrove

Pinch yourself…agencies seem to be making bigger profits

It’s hard to believe that many of the financial results reported in the last week or so have been very positive.   What happened to recession and the financial crisis that we are all supposed to be experiencing?

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Is the recession spoiling your breakfast?

A quick skim over last week’s financial headlines in the marketing sector would probably spoil most people’s breakfast:  “Dentsu’s profit margins hit by recession: prospects gloomy”,”Chime faces restructuring costs as US Government contract ends”,” cScape to retreat from AIM after another £0.5m loss”, “Hasgrove halves profit expectations”, “Huntsworth lops £4m off profit projection”, and so on.  The merger of MRM with Meteorite also smacks of financial disappointment.

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Stock market out of sorts with digital marketing?

Stock markets are often irrational, but having said that it is nevertheless interesting to note the recent fall in share prices among the few UK publicly listed marketing businesses engaged in the digital sector.  And it is particularly so when we learn that JP Morgan Chase is launching a $500m fund to invest in social media, fuelled by investor interest in Facebook and Twitter.

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UK’s public marketing agencies see profits rise 52%

It may not feel as if business activity is recovering, but if the results from a recent batch of publicly listed marketing agencies are anything to go by there are distinct signs that the worst is over.

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Hasgrove joins companies enjoying improved profits

Hasgrove, the public relations and digital communications group listed on AIM, has joined the growing ranks of marketing companies that seem to be enjoying a modest improvement in profits.

This morning the company announced post-tax profits of £815,000 for the half year to 30 June, up from £630,000 in the corresponding period of 2009.  The operating profit margin remained below what might be expected – at 8.8% – but showed a small improvement on the 8.2% achieved in the first half of 2009.  The picture would have been much better if the group had not incurred reorganisation costs of £414,000 in the period.  Without those costs, the margin would have been 11.8% (2009: 10.9%).

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Share prices of three marcoms companies have tripled since last year’s low

Further evidence – if ever it was required – that well regarded marketing services companies’ share prices run ahead of (and over-react to) underlying economic conditions is provided by the movement in their share prices since the stock market’s low point in March last year.

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And now for some good news…

Share prices of marcoms companies that comprise Fintellect’s MSFI Index have begun to recover at a faster rate than the FTSE All-Share Index.  But there’s a big gap to fill.  The MSFI Index has gradually improved since February while the FTSE All-Share Index has risen and then fallen back again (see chart).  The FTSE All-Share Index showed a net gain of 5.6% in the three months to 12 May while the MSFI Index grew by 6.9%.

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Hasgrove sounds positive after 65% profit fall

New business wins towards the end of 2009 prompted AIM listed marketing group Hasgrove to sound an optimistic note when reporting a 65% fall in post-tax profit last year.

The post-tax profit was £1.2 million after charging over £1 million of reorganisation costs and bad debts. 

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Share price recovery exposes the weak

A year ago the stock market was at its lowest point for many years.   Not surprisingly, shares in marketing services companies had fallen even more sharply than most others, as investors worried about the sector’s particular vulnerabilities.  Recessions are always expected to hit marketing agencies more severely than most other type of business and the relatively small size of most marketing companies is perceived as an additional investment risk.

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