NEWS25 March 2013

M&C Saatchi brand consultants move Clear of tough 2012

Financials UK

UK — Ad agency M&C Saatchi’s brand research and strategy consultancy Clear Ideas had a “tough year” in 2012 according to the company’s annual results.

Clear, which M&C Saatchi bought in 2007 for £18.4m, saw spending cutbacks from the majority of its top clients – hitting its business as profit before tax dropped from £2m in 2011 to £0.3m in 2012.

In its final results report for 2012, M&C Saatchi said: “Clear had a very tough year, with revenues slowing as nine of their top ten clients cut spending by 50% mainly due to budget cuts or restructuring programmes.”

These lost incomes resulted in a “significantly downsized” New York and Asia operations, as well as extensive cost cutting, which, according to the results, have yielded 31% in cost savings.

Despite the losses and restructuring, the final quarter of 2012 saw Clear gain business wins including Bacardi, Novartis, Samsung and Pepsico. Subsequently, M&C Saatchi expects Clear’s 2013 first quarter profitability “to be much improved”.

As a group M&C Saatchi saw revenues increase by 11% to £169.5m with profit before tax up 10% to £17.2m.

M&C Saatchi chief executive David Kershaw said: “Looking ahead, we are confident that will continue to make progress in 2013 and beyond. The strategy continues to deliver.”