Mobile arm fuels surge at M&C Saatchi fuelled by UK and mobile

M&C SAATCHI grew its revenues 22 per cent to £153.1m last year on the back of its growing mobile division and a strong performance in the UK, leading to the advertising giant’s best year-on-year turnover hike since floating in 2004.

The group said the UK accounts for almost 60 per cent of its pre-tax profits, which were up 17 per cent to £15.6m, and 44 per cent of total revenue.

The UK saw revenue growth of 25 per cent, particularly due to its mobile business as clients buy more advertising on apps and websites designed for smartphones and tablets.

Chief executive David Kershaw said the company’s social media and mobile platforms would grow at twice the rate of overall group growth.

A strong roster of clients including Topman, Reebok, Ernst & Young and BMW boosted business for the advertising icon, which has already won accounts with Etihad and Loewe this year.

Europe also performed well – particularly in Germany, Italy and Switzerland – pushing revenues in the region up 23 per cent and operating profit up 30 per cent despite a slow uptake of new clients in France.

While emerging markets in Africa and South America showed strong growth, “severe pricing pressure” in China dragged Asian and Australian profits down 35 per cent and almost halved operating margins.

But a positive year overall led M&C Saatchi, which was formed in 1995 by brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi, to raise its dividend 15 per cent to 4.5p.

Shares in the London-listed company rose 1.3 per cent to 155p.