Ocean Outdoor sees 196% Q2 revenue boost after slow start to 2021

Ocean Outdoor has posted a triple-digit jump in second-quarter 2021 revenues of 196% to £25.9m, a ‘significant upturn’ from the £8.8m revenues generated in the second quarter of 2020. As part of a much-needed revenue recovery, the UK DOOH industry is smashing quarterly growth records.

Across the first half of 2021, things were slower with the period still impacted by UK lockdowns. Revenues increased more sedately at 11.2% to reach £40.6m, with billings for the same period up 9.1% to £48.4m.

Cash reserves were down to cover costs and innovation during the downturn from £35.6m H1 2020 to £29.8m H1 2021.

The dramatic turnaround quantifies a reawakening of society from its long slumber and dovetails with the launch of the 3D DepthScreen format and an exclusive UK digital content deal with BT Sport to broadcast Uefa Champions League clips across seven British cities.

This flurry of renewed activity has seen Ocean’s UK staff taken off furlough to manage outdoor media for the £1bn St James Quarter development in Edinburgh, as well as ramping up demand for digital screens around the COP26 conference in Glasgow later this year via a sealed bid auction process. This follows the acquisition of Forrest Media.

An ebullient Tim Bleakley, chief executive of Ocean Outdoor, commented: “The recovery is under way with a strong Q2 underpinning the increased levels of client activity. The strong sequential demand has tracked the vaccine rollout and phased lifting of restrictions, as well as the renewed confidence from high-spending advertising categories. The major global brands are returning at pace to DOOH, underlining the increasing importance they are placing on the channel.

“H1 has certainly been a tale of two halves; Q1 lockdowns made way for the UK DOOH industry recording its biggest quarter of growth in history for Q2. We believe we are at the beginning of a resurgence of activity in our sector validated by independent industry data, and are therefore confident in the period ahead.”

Renewed confidence extends to international markets too, with Ocean partnering with the Westfield Mall of the Netherlands and extending its Norwegian presence with the installation of 131 new digital screens.