Top groups see pre-tax profits ‘nearly double’

Pre-tax profits for the top 20 design groups nearly doubled in the last fiscal year, and the good news is expected to continue, a new survey reveals.

Willott Kingston Smith’s latest annual findings on the marketing services sector saw the groups’ average profits before tax rising 85 per cent to 471 000. This follows a 211 per cent increase in 1994 (DW 17 November 1995).

“Last year was the turning point in profitability,” says WKS manager Steve Waring. “Most people are experiencing better trading conditions and next year’s survey should reflect that.”

The most profitable groups were Fitch, Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise, Addison, Coley Porter Bell and McBain Noel-Johnson, all of whose pre-tax profits exceeded 1m.

“It would appear that the restructuring and reorganisations of the past few years are taking effect,” says the report.

Fitch, whose pre-tax profit was more than 1.5m, claims to be a “more strategic, more interdisciplinary, more technology-based business,” says WKS. “Many other design businesses are seeking similarly to change the offer they make in this competitive market,” the report adds.

The best paid boardroom was yet again found at The Imagination Group, where directors received, on average, 124 500.

Meanwhile, Fitch boasted the highest paid single director. The 298 000 payment is a 27 per cent increase on Fitch’s top payment in the previous year.

See News Analysis, page 8

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