M&C Saatchi profits surge by a quarter

 
Steve Dinneen
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ADVERTISING icon M&C Saatchi yesterday hit a 17 month share price high after announcing a surge in first-half profits.

The firm saw its pre-tax profit jump almost a quarter to hit £7.7m, with revenues rising 23 per cent to £71.9m.

A strong performance in its core UK business, which accounts for 43 per cent of its revenues, was partly offset by a “challenging” environment in its Chinese and Australian operations. Its US business posted a pre-tax loss for the second year running.

The agency, founded in 1995 by brothers Maurice (pictured) and Charles Saatchi after they were ousted from Saatchi & Saatchi, was boosted by big contract wins from multinational clients including Google, Pernod Ricard and Chinese computer giant Lenovo.

Chief executive David Kershaw said: “The results for the period show significant progress. Trading has been strong in a tough market.

“We are confident about our progress but conscious of any macro effects beyond our control in 2012. We remain vigilant about costs and maintaining our strong balance sheet.”

Numis analyst Lorna Tilbian upgraded her full-year forecast, praising the “strong set of results,” driven by the “the successful pitching for and winning of international work”.