Cordiant has posted pre-tax losses of 22.6m for the year to the end of December – the first full year since the acrimonious departure of Maurice Saatchi and the creation of his agency, M&C Saatchi.
The loss was widely expected by analysts and reflects exceptional costs of 20.3m incurred by the group, including redundancies and severance payments.
It represents a drop from profits of 32.4m in the previous year. But the group has dramatically cut its net debt via the sale of the Campbell Mithun Esty network, a 133m rights issue and other cost-cutting measures. It has also improved trading profit to 48.6m from 44.5m and replaced most of the almost six per cent of revenue lost after the departure of the Saatchi brothers.
But the group continues to underperform in the US, which is continuing to cause concern.
“The group has never performed as well as it might in the most important market in the world – the US,” says Cordiant chairman Charles Scott.