Huntsworth's PR revenues dipped five percent in 2018 to $95M and profit plummeted 14.2 percent to $7.8M following a reorganization charge.
PR flagship Grayling continued in the doldrums as revenues dropped 7.6 percent to $50M. It swung to a $520K loss from a $910K profit in 2017.
Huntsworth CEO Paul Taaffe reported that Grayling Europe suffered a deterioration in profitability, while the Middle East operation slipped due to the end of a "one-off contract." The US and UK businesses enjoyed profit gains.
Taaffe expects Grayling to rebound in 2019 due to the completion of its restructuring and right-sizing of its cost base.
Red consumer group had a four percent profit slippage, though business perked up during the second-half.
Citigate Dewe Rogerson posted flat revenue of $28.4M. Profits rose 19 percent to $5.3M.
Though Huntsworth has been focused on expanding its healthcare unit, Taaffe said PR "continues to remain an important part" of the overall business, contributing 15 percent of profits.
"This remains a mixed group of agencies in terms of their individual performance and development, although it has been pleasing to see improving performance in key agencies this year," he said.
He expects the PR group will benefit from the restructuring and right-sizing and will generate "improved financial returns in the coming years."