CRESTON: DEALS OFFSET H-CARE MALAISE
Creston, the U.K.-based communications holding company, posted an 11 percent gain in revenue to 74.9M pounds for the fiscal year ended March 31, boosted by its healthcare sector PR acquisitions of Cooney/Waters and The Corkery Group.
Profit after tax was flat at 7.5M.
Among its three divisions, communications rose five percent to 43M, health jumped 53% on its Corkery and Cooney/Waters deals, and insight (marketing research) declined seven percent to 13.8M.
“Naturally, we remain cautious in these challenging macro-economic conditions,” said CEO Don Elgie, who added that Creston is confident in its strategy of focusing digital and other high-growth areas, as well as international expansion to serve blue chip clients.
Creston said a revenue shortfall in the fourth quarter was caused by fewer new business wins and reduced client budgets, adding that reductions were made that caused a restructuring charge of 1.8M pounds. The moves were expected to save 3.1M pounds.
Uncertainty over healthcare reform in the U.S. and reduced spending in the healthcare sector saw revenue decline in the space, but Elgie said the long-term fundamentals are good in the U.S. and U.K.
Creston paid $6M to add Corkery to Cooney/Waters in November but earn-outs are slated for 2013 and 2015 which are expected to fall in the $5M realm with another $1.8M likely in payments to “key employees.”
PR clients of Creston include HTC, BBC and GSK.
MICROFINANCE NETWORK BANKS ON PR
The 30-year-old global microfinance network for women which once employed President Barack Obama’s mother is on the hunt for a PR firm to elevate its profile in the U.S. and abroad as the “voice for women's financial security in underdeveloped countries.”
Womens World Banking released an RFP June 13 for a multi-year contract to burnish its network of 39 institutions in 27 countries like Ethiopia, Peru, Bangladesh and Tunisia. The New York-based non-profit says it represents 27M clients, 80% of whom are women.
Microfinance involves lending relatively small sums as low as $100 to low-income entrepreneurs typically excluded from the formal banking sector. The organization seeks strategic communications counsel, a PR program to raise its profile, thought leadership, brand “relaunch” support, and media relations.
Ann Dunham Soetoro, President Obama's mother, was policy coordinator for WWB starting in 1992.
Proposals are due July 6. The RFP can be viewed at swwb.org.
Julie Slama heads communications for WWB. Kay Madati, entertainment strategy lead for Facebook and a marketing vet of CNN and BMW, is on the group’s board.