Tag Archives: public companies

Reported profits: when nothing is quite as it seems

Anyone who thinks that businesses are easy to manage and that profits are easy to predict could learn a lesson or two from the results of two public companies in the marketing sector that reported this week.

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Morgan shows Mission how to manage

It’s not very often in these gloomy times that there’s something to celebrate, but the good results announced by The Mission Marketing Group this week justify at least a modest cheer.

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Managing overseas operations doesn’t get any easier

One message to emerge from the otherwise pleasing results of M&C Saatchi for 2011 is that the management of overseas businesses doesn’t get any easier.

Despite its ambitious global aspirations, the UK remains the backbone of the M&C Saatchi business, generating 44% of group revenue. More importantly, the domestic market contributed nearly 58% of the group’s operating profit.

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Let’s find something to cheer about!

With nearly everyone going around long-faced, fearing another recessionary dip before we’ve even recovered from the current one, it seemed worthwhile to take a look at what has actually been happening among listed UK marketing companies that have recently published their half year reports.

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When companies have a big debt mountain to climb

Probably the most encouraging feature of this year’s review of the balance sheet vulnerability of publicly listed marketing companies is the fact that many of the companies involved have already taken steps to strengthen their financial position.

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What Adventis and Media Square have in common

It may not be apparent at first sight, but two companies that reported poor results last week have several things in common – losses and heavy bank debts being just two.

When you look more closely at Adventis Group and Media Square, what do you see?  Sadly in both cases, they comprise a hotchpotch of marketing businesses none of which really sets one alight with excitement at either its creative calibre or client quality.

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When shares under option lose their value, change the rules to compensate!

 The latest device introduced by Asia Digital Holdings as part of its so-called “incentive” arrangements for directors begs some fairly serious questions about share options. 

Asia Digital originally granted options over, in aggregate, 20.4 million shares to three of its directors at an exercise price of 1.125p per share.  The purpose was doubtless to ensure the participants could benefit from any growth in the value of the company’s share price until the day comes when they choose to exercise the options and sell their shares.   That’s perfectly normal and, if such a scheme gains approval from HM Revenue & Customs, the gain would normally be taxed as capital and avoid the more punitive income tax rates. 

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What accounting rules and pigs have in common

More often than not, this column has been at pains to point out how companies have perhaps been a little liberal in their interpretation of accounting rules or at least have taken steps to put the best possible gloss on their performance.  So it may come as a surprise to find that today’s offering takes the form of a rant about some of the recent acts of lunacy perpetrated by the rule-makers. 

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WFCA: An object lesson in how not to become a public company

The havoc wreaked at the Tunbridge Wells agency WFCA by defections of staff and clients is not a new experience for the industry – only a few weeks ago WPP successfully prosecuted some former employees and freelance sub-contractors who set up in competition in breach of their employment contracts.

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Congratulations WPP – your share price has recovered to its 2001 level

It may seem hard to believe, but today we celebrate the resurgence of WPP’s share price to the level at which it stood 10 years ago – on 12 January 2001 or thereabouts.   Yes, it’s a fact.  WPP’s share price has remained depressed for a whole decade.

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