NEWS24 August 2010

Photon posts falling annual revenue and an $87m loss

Financials North America

AUSTRALIA— Marketing services group Photon – owner of research agency The Leading Edge – has reported a 10% decline in revenue to A$587.3m and a loss of A$87.6m for the year ended 30 June.

The loss was attributed to a poor earnings performance in the company’s internet and e-commerce division and costs related to redundancies, business closures and restructuring provisions.

The strategic intelligence division, which houses The Leading Edge, Jigsaw Strategic Research, strategy firm Bellamyhayden and communications firm Naked, reported earnings down 8% to A$11.1m.

Photon said “adverse currency movements, continued declines in the market research sector” and a weaker performance by Naked in the second half of the year were to blame.

The results release caps off a turbulent few months for the marketing services group, which faced a financial crises when it was unable to pay A$176m worth of earn-outs owed to the owners of agencies it had bought. Trading in the group’s shares was suspended while it set about recapitalising and renegotiating its payout liabilities.

Photon is set to raise A$102.5m through an offering of new shares in the coming weeks. Almost all of the founders of Photon’s acquired agencies have agreed to accept reduced cash settlements and shares in the group, according to the firm.