£19.6m Bell Pottinger sale props up Chime Communications H1 results for 2012 as it concentrates on sports marketing

Following the disposal of the bulk of the PR group Bell Pottinger, Chime Communications has posted a pre-tax profit of £10.9m.

Chime Communications, which plans to concentrate on its development as a sports marketing business, sold off the bulk of the Bell Pottinger Group earlier this year in a deal worth £19.6m, and has posted first half, pre-tax profits for 2012 of £10.9m, an increase of 47 per cent on 2011 as a result.

Following the sale, the rest of the Bell Pottinger businesses that remain will be closed, following the completion of two overseas contracts early next year, the company has also revealed.

For the first half of 2012, until the end of June, Chime saw operating income grow by 33 per cent to 73.7m, with an operating profit of 11.3m, an increase of 45 per cent.

Excluding the Bell Pottinger business, Chime saw pre-tax profits decrease by 41 per cent to £6.7m, with operating income increasing by 19 per cent to £75.2m, however its operating profit declined by 31 per cent to £8.1m.

The average fee paid by each client during the first half of 2012 was £55,000, with 209 clients paying over £50,000, up from 155 last year.

The last six months has seen the company grow its sports marketing business, working on contracts for both London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, as well as invest in new office and products for VCCP and open new offices in Sydney, Madrid, Moscow and Singapore.

The move to focus on Sports Marketing comes as the PwC forecasts revenue growth in the global sponsorship market of five per cent each year, looking towards the 2014 World Cup and the Brazilian Olympics in 2016.

Today’s figures reveal that through its sports marketing development, Chime has acquired ten businesses, entered 12 markets and grown operating income to over £55 million a year.

Agency acquisitions have also been made, with the majority stake in iLUKA, McKenzie Clark, Harvey Walsh (51 per cent), Succinct and Rough Hill (60 per cent) all purchased.

Christopher Satterthwaite, CEO of Chime, said:“ We are reporting strong income and profit growth in our continuing businesses whilst evolving into an international communications and sports marketing group. We are now well positioned in these high growth sectors, especially sports marketing, which has become the leading way for global brands to engage their audiences as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have demonstrated. Despite difficult overall economic conditions we anticipate continued growth in our sectors and in our businesses and, as such, the long term outlook for the Group remains very good.”

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