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MCI UK puts £4m drop in turnover down to fall in corporate business

Agency made a loss of more than £400k in 2016 after a reduction in corporate business

Pictured: MCI UK managing director Jurriaen Sleijster

MCI UK has announced a 45 per cent drop in turnover to £5 million in 2016 and a loss of more than £400k due to a reduction in corporate business.

Turnover at the firm fell by £4m, from £9m in 2015, according to results filed at Companies House for the year ended 31 December 2016. A pre-tax profit of £21k in 2015 turned into a loss of £405k last year but the management team says expansion in the UK is planned.

The strategic report accompanying the accounts said: “Finding growth in the corporate sector is difficult and performance in the year has declined. Whilst clients have remained loyal and repeat business has been good the business has struggled to secure new clients and new business in an ever increasingly competitive market in the UK.

“The company’s turnover has decreased by 45 per cent. This is due to a reduced amount of business in the corporate sector and a different mix of PCO contract types leading to reduced 3rd party costs and hence cost of sales compared to last year.”

Administrative costs at the firm decreased by 21 per cent to £2.8m as a result of cost-saving measures. The average monthly number of employees at the firm went down from 63 in 2015 to 47 in 2016. However, MD 
Jurriaen Sleijster said the UK result was only a small part of the overall picture. He said: "The context of this result is that MCI Group profits recorded 7 per cent organic growth with profits up by 50 per cent year-on-year.  And there is more growth forecast for 2018. The business now employees 2200 employees worldwide and we are actively investigating opportunities for more growth in the UK."

The report pointed to a stable performance on the PCO and association management side of the business.

It said: “Performance in the institutional sector was comparable to previous years across both professional congress organisation (PCO) and association management. Business indicators suggest that this is a trend in the association sector that will continue with many clients choosing to extend current mandates and commit in the medium term.”

The report concluded that “this was a disappointing result but was the best possible in difficult market conditions.”

In January 2017 MCI UK managing director Jennifer Jenkins left the agency after 15 years. She was replaced as UK MD by Jurriaen Sleijster, who is also president and chief operating officer of parent company MCI Group.

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