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Media Square reveals first-half loss as restructure announced

LONDON - Media Square, the marketing communications group led by executive chairman Roger Parry, has reported a disappointing pre-tax profit of £365,000, which it has blamed on making too many acquisitions too quickly.

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The group, which has also announced the results of a strategic review in its interim results, said turnover for the six months ended August 31 came in at £85.3m, representing a 4% reduction on a like-for-like basis.

The company said its first-half revenue fell 5% on a like-for-like basis to £43.3m from £51.5m last year, while headline Ebitda was down 72% to £1.1m for the same period from £3.9m last year.

Parry said: "Media Square has been through a torrid time. It made too many acquisitions too quickly and now the metaphorical chickens have come home to roost in the shape of poor trading, large restructuring costs and a significant write-down of goodwill."

Yesterday, Brand Republic reported that Media Square was simplifying its structure into three divisions: advertising and PR, marketing and design.

In a statement, the company said: "Going forward we will operate as three divisions, each based on craft skills and each led by an experienced industry professional. This approach will put renewed emphasis on good creative work which in turn will lead to improved new business success and will increase operating margins.

"This company has great potential but now needs time and an un-blinking focus on producing excellent creative work, great client service and on winning new clients to realise its true value as a business."

Media Square appointed former Arc boss Mike Spicer as chairman of its marketing arm as part of the restructure.

The marketing division includes: digital agency Twentysix London; direct agency Clark McKay & Walpole; and Wax, the result of the merger in September of three Media Square companies, Catalyst, Dynamo and Theatre, specialists in sales promotion and experiential marketing.

Advertising and PR will be headed by Philip Gregory; while the chairman for the design division is David Worthington.

Parry joined Media Square in July 2007, following the resignation of Kelvin McKenzie and Jeremy Middleton as chairman and CEO respectively in March and June of this year. Parry was appointed as executive chairman, to do both jobs.

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