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WRG blames restructure for £1.3 million loss

Company says 2015 changes have instigated a turnaround and forecasts a return to profit

Pictured: Russ Lidstone, WRG CEO

WRG says it will start to reap the benefits of a major restructure last year, which has been blamed for the company's £1.3 million operating loss.

The London & Manchester-based experiential agency, with offices in Europe, US and Asia, consolidated its Middle Eastern offices while also incurring job losses in the UK in 2015 as it identified five areas of focus in healthcare, energy, technology, luxury and financial and professional services.

The company also appointed senior staff members, including new CEO Russ Lidstone in May this year.

Lidstone said these changes led to the loss of £1.33m for the year ending 31 October 2015 (down from operating profit of £915k in 2014), but he predicted a turnaround for 2016.

"We haven't finished the year but we're expecting to post operating profits in excess of £2m. We can already see the significant benefits of work done in restructuring to make business more efficient more focussed on growth and even better at servicing clients," he said.

A £1.8m exceptional items cost was put down to the closure of the Middle Eastern office in Qatar, which was due to the falling oil prices, along with consolidation across the UK offices. 2015 also saw WRG acquire Just Communicate, a healthcare events and communication business.

Turnover was down £8.2m from 2014, at £47.5m, leading to a fall in gross profits of more than £2m to £5.57m.

Lidstone added: "2015 saw the business restructure and position itself ready for growth and 2016 will be a demonstration of the impact of that restructure and that activity, and 2017 is looking good."

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