NEWS27 May 2010

Media Square posts loss while Illuminas shines

Financials UK

UK— Media Square has posted a 23% drop in revenue for the full year period ending February 28 2010, but its research agency, Illuminas, has seen an increase in both revenue and profits.

Illuminas CEO John Connaughton (pictured) was unable to give exact figures but said that he was “reasonably happy” after the agency “managed to grow profits and revenue in a tough environment”.

He said that the US side of the business had had a “particularly good year” while operations in Asia were “progressing nicely”. The UK and Europe had been “pretty steady”, over the course of the year, he said.

The good performance has spilled over into the first quarter of the new year, Connaughton said. “The first quarter has been very very good, and we are above budget in all our offices,” he said.

Group-wide revenue was £47.3m, compared to 2009’s restated figure of £61.2m, and headline operating loss was £0.9m, compared to a profit of £2.3m last year.

Chairman Roger Parry said that the drop in revenue was due to “the general reduction in marketing budgets brought about by the recession, partly under-performance by a number of our agencies which resigned unprofitable accounts and partly the disposal of non-core agencies”.

He said that operating expenses had been reduced over the course of the year, which included reducing property and overhead costs by housing some agencies together, and that “further cost reductions will be coming into effect in the coming months”.

But Illuminas should be unaffected by the cuts, according to Connaughton. He said: “We are within budget. There’s no fat to be cut from us.”