Tag Archives: WPP Group

Rosetta: a triumph of weight over wisdom?

Two months ago the question was asked here: What’s Maurice Lévy’s game?   At that time his recent acquisition spree could have been interpreted as a desire to outperform world leader WPP before he collected his pension.   Or maybe he was simply pursuing what was the best strategy for growth by investing in digital and growth markets.   

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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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It can still pay to invest in marcoms…occasionally

Figures published last week showed just how widely (and wildly) the prices of shares in the marcoms sector have fluctuated in the depressed market conditions of last year.  As the FTSE All-Share Index struggled to recover with a modest rise of  11.6% and the sector’s MSFI Index put on only 5.3%, observers could be forgiven for wondering why anyone would either seek a stock market listing or invest in the sector.

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Why buy small?

There’s been a lot of acquisition activity in the last month, but curiously not much money has been changing hands.

This week WPP’s Grey network acquired a digital agency in Singapore that boasted annual revenue of about £0.6 million.  Hardly worth the effort, one might suppose.  Last week The Engine Group acquired a New York youth marketing agency that employs just 30 people.  Publicis, Aegis and Havas have also been on the acquisition trail.  And lots more deals were announced without any hard information about their size, but with superficial indications that most of them were small.

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Why many marcoms companies may lack stock market appeal

The reluctance of shares in many UK marcoms companies that are listed on the stock exchange to follow the encouraging upward trend experienced by the FTSE All-Share Index over recent months will reinforce the view that the stock market is not the best place for entrepreneurs in the industry to realise the wealth they have created.   And that is a pity.

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Have aggregators had their day?

A few years ago it was fashionable for entrepreneurs in the marketing services industry to search out a company – probably already listed on the stock exchange – and transform it into a mini WPP Group by acquiring as many businesses as possible involved in supplying marketing services of one sort or another.

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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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Geoff Howe realises one of his most valuable assets

Marketing entrepreneur Geoff Howe may have realised his most valuable business asset when his company sold its US operations to WPP Group last month.

The US subsidiary Geoff Howe Marketing Communications made a post-tax profit of £372,919 in the year to 31 March 2009, following a more modest profit of £99,348 in the previous year.   Although the results of the various marketing agencies controlled by Geoff Howe and based in Hampton, Middlesex, are not consolidated, it would appear that the US business was the most profitable in each of those two years.

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Havas struggles to raise revenues, but profits recover to 2008 level

Havas has succeeded in restoring its post-tax profit for the first half of 2010 to the same level as it achieved two years ago, but on lower revenues.  The modest profit recovery, announced today, was helped by an improvement in operating profit margins – reaching an unexciting 11.5% compared with just 10.2% in the same period last year.

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There’s one good thing to say about the Aegis half year results.

The one good thing that can be said about Aegis Group’s latest half year results to 30 June, announced this morning, is that the whole of a £20 million increase in gross income (revenues less direct costs) has flowed through to bottom line profit.  And that’s about the only good thing.

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