NEWS24 November 2009

Half-year revenue down at Media Square but Illuminas ‘optimistic’

Financials UK

UK— Media Square has reported an £8.3m drop in revenue for the six-month period ending 31 August but its Illuminas research business is “on course to have a good year”, according to group director Mike Roderick.

Roderick was unable to provide detailed figures but said Illuminas was “cautiously optimistic” about the rest of the year and was expecting a stronger second half, having seen clients start to “spend a little more”.

Group-wide, Media Square’s turnover was down 30% year-on-year to £44.9m while revenue fell 25% to £24.3m. Headline operating loss was £1.5m compared to £2m profit in 2008.

Group chairman Roger Parry (pictured) said: “2009 has been a particularly challenging year for most marketing communications agencies. Media Square is no exception. In the reported six months we have seen the level of spending from our clients significantly reduced compared to the same period in 2008. While the company has substantially maintained its client base, existing clients have been spending less and deferring projects.”

The group said that it had reduced headcount in “a number of agencies” during the period, but Illuminas chairman Peter Reid – who is set to take over as Media Square CEO in January – said that no positions at Illuminas had been affected. The firm declined to put a figure on how many jobs had been cut across the group.

Media Square said it also moved to reduce property and overhead costs by housing some agencies together, by discipline.

The latest job cuts follow an earlier 9% reduction in workforce, announced in February.