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Creston spends £19m on healthcare agency Pan

LONDON - Marketing services group Creston, which owns ad agency DLKW, has acquired healthcare advertising agency Pan Advertising for up to £18.8m and revealed first-half pre-tax profits are up 35% to £4.9m.

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It bought Pan on Friday for £10.1m in cash and a maximum of £8.7m dependent on its future financial performance. Pan is a full-service agency that Creston believes will complement its healthcare PR agency Red Door.

Don Elgie, chief executive of Creston, said: "Healthcare is a vibrant and growing sector and Pan further strengthens our healthcare offering to clients."

Creston's acquisitions of direct marketing agency Tullo Marshall Warren and market research group ICM for a total of almost £76m in May helped its first half revenues soar by 43% to £53.5m.

It was confident about its outlook, saying the overall market continues to exhibit growth and is stimulated by the growth of digital platforms.

Major client wins in the period included: Morrisons, by its ad agency DLKW; Vodafone online research, by ICM; Sony Ericsson qualitative research, by its other market research company CML; and pan-European Nissan direct marketing, by TMW.

Creston claims that at 17% its profit margin continues to exceed the industry average. It has increased its interim dividend by 10% to 0.88p.

Elgie said: "Our strategy of building a diversified international marketing services group through a combination of organic growth and selective acquisitions continues to progress well."

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