Top 100 groups report 20% income growth

Twelve months of consolidation have paid off for the design industry, with Top 100 groups reporting both UK fee-income and turnover up some 20 per cent during 1998.

The combined UK fee-income of the Top 100 players was 408m, from turnover of 631m. Consultancies in the chart employed 5594 staff in 1998 – up 11 per cent from the previous year – including 2622 designers.

Topping the chart this year is corporate identity specialist Enterprise IG, reporting fee-income of 35m. The ranking is based on UK design fees earned during 1998 and, on the face of it Enterprise IG has boosted its income by 77 per cent. However, this year the WPP Group global identity network has been unable to separate fees billed through London, but earned through Enterprise IG offices overseas.

Cambridge Consultants, ranked second, reports UK fees down 5 per cent to 23m. Imagination, again in third place, saw an increase of over 30 per cent in fees last year, to almost 22m.

The most improved groups include Fitch, with UK fees up 39 per cent, The Identica Partnership (almost 56 per cent), Jones Knowles Ritchie (up 40 per cent) and The Partners (up 42 per cent).

Those registering a decline include Diefenbach Elkins Davies Baron, with fees down 25 per cent, and WPP Group’s Scottish subsidiary Scott Stern Associates, down 29 per cent.

The results were compiled with Ian Cochrane of independent management consultancy Ticegroup.

Also published in this issue are charts ranking consultancies in specialist areas, global and overseas figures and data on efficiency and staffing.

Full survey details, pages 61-97

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