Leading players top 2m profits

The Imagination Group, Fitch and Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise (now Enterprise IG) have posted pre-tax profits of more than 2m, according to an annual survey of the top 20 consultancies.

Accountant Willott Kingston Smith’s report Financial Performance of Marketing Services Companies reviews figures for the year up to December 1997.

An 18 per cent rise in gross income has been achieved on a rise in turnover of 13 per cent, with Fitch and The Imagination Group leading the way. Average gross income per head was 65 500.

Meanwhile, six of the top 20 consultancies generated operating profits in excess of 1m last year, according to a survey.

These groups are The Imagination Group, Fitch, Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise, Holmes & Marchant Communications,

Addison and McBain Noel-Johnson (now The Open Agency), whose operating profit went up 260 per cent. Siegel & Gale and BDG McColl’s operating profit fell 102 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.

This increase in operating profit is probably due to groups charging more, says WKS partner Amanda Merron. She also attributes it to the “dearth of good people”, so that groups are “managing to do more with less people”.

She expects this rise in operating profit to be experienced by smaller groups which are positioning themselves to offer consultancy work.

Merron expects any recession to start biting if clients cut their budgets for next year.

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