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WRG back in black with £1.5m pre-tax profit

Agency turns around £3.5m loss in 2015 thanks to improvement programme and senior appointments

Pictured: CEO Russ Lidstone

WRG has announced pre-tax profits of £1.5 million, marking a significant turnaround on last year’s £3.5m loss.

And the agency says the upturn is thanks to an improvement programme and the appointment of senior staff members, including Russ Lidstone as chief executive.

Writing in the strategic report accompanying the accounts, chief operating officer David Sharrock said: “The company implemented a significant improvement programme starting in 2015. The benefits of this are seen in the operating results for 2016.

“The appointment of a new chair and CEO in 2016 has seen the improvement programme gain momentum through the year, particularly in identifying new growth opportunities. This has been captured in a strategic business plan that includes an alliance with The Moment Content Group Limited to cross sell services and share resources.”

Turnover was slightly down year on year, from £47.5m to £46.7m for the year ended 31 October 2016, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Gross profit at the firm was £7.6m in 2016, up from £5.6m in 2015, while operating profit before exceptional items was £2.5m this year, compared to a loss in 2015 of £1.3m.

In March 2016 the group acquire the entire issued share capital of Just Communicate for £1.8m.

The group operates in Europe, the USA and the Far East. In April this year WRG closed its Hong Kong operations due to slow growth.

Together, WRG, The Moment and Just Communicate make up The Creative Engagement Group (TCEG) which was acquired by healthcare communications and PR group Huntsworth in a deal worth £24.7 million earlier this month.

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