Chime Communications, the owner of VCCP, reported profit before tax of £9.6 million in the first half of 2014, more than 15 times what it made a year earlier, after the World Cup and other tournaments boosted its sports arm.
Revenue at the group was £198.5 million in the first six months of 2014, up an impressive 41.5 per cent year on year in a period that included a World Cup, Winter Olympics and the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.
Headline profit before tax at Chime for the first six months of 2014 was £16.2 million. This was 43 per cent higher than the £11.3 million earned during in the same period in 2013, but the increase drops to 19 per cent if acquisitions are stripped out.
Chime’s headline operating income was £97.6 million, up eight per cent on the same period in 2013, like for like. Operating profit increased by 25 per cent on a like-for-like basis, to £17.2 million.
The sports and entertainment business drove the growth. Projects for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games boosted the division's headline operating income to £37.9 million over the same period in 2014, a 56 per cent boost year on year or six per cent rise on a like-for-like basis.
Sports and entertainment headline operating profit over the same period rose 56 per cent on a like-for-like basis, to £9.7 million.
Despite the sports and entertainment business boosting Chime’s results, the chief executive, Christopher Satterthwaite, said Chime remained a "communications and sports business – in that order. Communications comes first."
Satterthwaite praised VCCP’s growing European network and the performance of Teamspirit, Chime’s financial services business.
Headline operating profit at the advertising and marketing services division was £4.1 million, up 39 per cent, or a 17 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis. Operating income was £35.9 million, up 15 per cent on the same period in 2013, like for like.
Chime’s public relations business suffered after two large projects halted after the first half of 2013. Headline operating profit for the first six months of 2014 was £1 million, down 37 per cent year on year. Operating income over the same period was £10.1 million, down seven per cent year on year.
Chime's healthcare division posted a 14 per cent like-for-like rise in operating income to £9.5 million, but its operating profit dropped 12 per cent to £1.5 million.
Insight and engagement performed strongly, posting a five per cent (like-for-like) increase in operating income, to £4.2 million, and 22 per cent increase in operating profit – again like for like – to £1.4 million.
The average fee per client across the group was £73,000 in the first half of 2014, up 28.1 per cent.
Satterthwaite said this was because "growing companies attract bigger clients" and denied there had been any rise in fees. He added that he expected his company to grow 50 per cent in 2014.
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