NEWS13 June 2012

Creston’s insight revenue falls 7% to £13.8m

Financials UK

UK— Creston’s insight businesses lost £1m in revenue in the most recent financial year, results show, with headline pre-tax profit half of what it was a year ago.

The division, made up of Marketing Sciences and the ICM Group, saw revenue fall 7% to £13.8m, while headline PBIT came in at £2.1m for the year ended 31 March.

Creston CEO Don Elgie (pictured) reported “contrasting performances” for Marketing Sciences and ICM during the year.

“Rebranded, and with greater embedded digital expertise, Marketing Sciences grew both revenue and headline PBIT,” Elgie said. “ICM however, experienced a shortfall in revenue against management’s expectations during the fourth quarter of the year as a result of a shortfall in new business and a decline in some client activity, which produced a drag on performance for the division as a whole.”

That shortfall led to a cost-saving restructure which saw ICM Group’s Justin Sampson axed as chairman, along with other redundancies, a review of ICM’s data collection processes, reflecting the switch in demand away from telephone based interviewing to online and mobile techniques, and a reduction in property and infrastructure costs through “co-location”.

Elgie said the Insight division is now united under a single head – Marketing Sciences MD Keith Bates – with Andrew Wiseman as MD of ICM. Sampson, meanwhile, has since taken the top job at TV ratings body Barb.

As a group, and including its communications and healthcare marketing businesses, Creston’s full-year revenue was up 11% to £74.9m. Headline PBIT was down marginally at £10.4m.