Paul Taaffe
Paul Taaffe

Huntsworth CEO Paul Taaffe says the Grayling, Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Red communications division has reported Like-For-Like revenue growth "for the first time in a number of years."

Though overall revenues were flat for the first half of 2019, LFL revenues advanced 0.9 percent to $43.5M. Operating profit surged 18.5 percent to $3.8M.

Taaffe, whose acquisition binge has refashioned Huntsworth into largely a medical communications company, attributes the good financial news on the PR front to "eliminating unprofitable client contracts and operations, streamlining infrastructure and investing in quality staff."

Grayling, Huntsworth's PR flagship, remains in the doldrums as LFL revenues slipped 3.2 percent to $20.2M due to a decline in its US business and an "underperformance" in the Middle East. The UK countered the doldrums with a 10.9 percent jump in LFL revenues due to client wins. Grayling shaved the first-half loss to $120K from $360K a year ago.

Red (consumer, digital, content shop) improved LFL revenues by 1.5 percent to $10.2M, while financial firm Citigate Dewe Rogerson turned in a solid 7.2 percent hike in LFL revenues to $12.8M sparked by strong performances in Hong Kong, China, France and the U.K.

Taaffe expects the PR operation to show improved revenue and profit performances for the rest of the year.