A disappointing performance on brands by MPL is one of the few blots on parent group Princedale’s otherwise impressive end of year figures.
Princedale, which also owns CLK and C&FD, notched up a 50 per cent increase in pre-tax profits from 1.9m in 1994 to 2.8m in 1995.
The five-strong marketing and design division recorded a 60 per cent improvement in operating profits.
Princedale finance director Mike Simson says the design companies – managed at group level as a single unit since January, headed by former CLK managing director Chris Wood – “overall did very well. MPL underperformed a bit – it was still profitable but not as much as we had hoped”.
Simson adds: “The reason was a slowness on the brands side.
Literature did quite well and the environment side did very well. We are really finding the market tough on the brands side but are beginning to see signs of it coming good.”
He denies that MPL is considering withdrawing from brands work or that Princedale may be looking to offload MPL.
In fact, says Simson, Princedale is looking to acquire another design business.
Princedale executive chairman Stephen Bennett, commenting on the overall group results, says: “Successive years of growth in profits and earnings have been coupled with a substantial increase in the scale and quality of the group.
“The current year has started well. With the combination of a strong and able management team and a profitable spread of activities, the group can look forward with confidence to continuing growth and another successful performance in 1996.