M&C Saatchi share price jumps as it posts record results for 2015 and hikes dividend 15 per cent

Francesca Washtell
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Ukrainian Contemporary Art Exhibition At The Saatchi Gallery
One of the founders of M&C Saatchi, Charles Saatchi, also founded the Saatchi Gallery in London (Source: Getty)

The advertising major M&C Saatchi has unveiled record results and hiked its dividend, prompting its share price to climb this morning.

The figures

Operating profits rose 16 per cent to £18.6m in 2015, M&C Saatchi said this morning, while profit before tax grew by 17 per cent to £20.1m, in line with analyst expectations.

The year of "outstanding progress" has led the advertising major to raise its final dividend by 15 per cent to 5.6p and its full-year dividend, also by 15 per cent, to 7.21p.

Particularly strong growth in Europe, where like-for-like revenues were up by 19 per cent, and in the Americas, where like-for-like revenues were up 27 per cent, helped drive a six per cent rise in global revenue to £178.9m.

The company also maintained a robust balance sheet, with net year-end cash of £8.6m.

After announcing the results M&C Saatchi saw a boost of its share price in mid-morning trading, with shares jumping 4.58 per cent higher, at 342.75p.

M&C Saatchi M&C Saatchi | mobile image

Why it's interesting

Despite revealing in January that it was considering selling a 30 per cent stake in its UK agency to five members of its management team, at a global level the company is expanding further.

It recently acquired a 51 per cent stake in digital customer experience agency MCD Partners through its CRM and direct marketing agency Lida and increased its holding in SS+K from 33 per cent to 51 per cent.

What M&C Saatchi said

Chief executive David Kershaw said: "2015 was another year of outstanding progress for M&C Saatchi. Our proven strategy of winning new business and starting new businesses continues to deliver with the group producing record revenue and profits.

"The current strong performance across the global network positions us well for the future. We are confident we will continue to make good progress in 2016 and beyond."

In short

The company appears to be on stable footing for the time being, with its record results, high earnings growth and current expansions giving it a strong start to the 2016 financial year.