Creston reports 25% rise in profits

Creston has reported a 25% rise in profits for the year ending 31 March 2008 and is upbeat about the potential impact of an economic downturn. The company says that new business wins, worth £9m, have buoyed its year.

The marketing services and research group, which owns agencies Delaney Lund Knox Warren (DLKW) and direct marketing specialists Tullo Marshall Warren (TMW), has extended its public relations offering, adding corporate and healthcare PR operations.

Creston chief executive Don Elgie says the group has developed its PR capabilities in response to clients’ requirements and the need to grow internationally. Creston is also extending its online research company, newvista, in a bid to expand its national reach.

The company says it has seen growth of 43% in its digital and online division, which it believes is simply part of a continuing shift away from traditional marketing. It’s revenue for the year was £80.5m, up 16% year on year.

Elgie says that the group’s ambitions to make acquisitions in the US have been put “on hold” for the time being. Creston opened a small US operation in April 2007, headed up by former DraftFCB and Grey chief executive Steve Blamer, to seek acquisitions in the US. However, as a result of the troubled American economy, it was closed in February.

The group claims it has “not noticed” any effects of the economic slowdown and Elgie adds that a large proportion of its revenue is from research-based services, which tend to do well during economic uncertainty.

He also cited a high new business conversion rate, which include Barclaycard, Gordon’s Gin, Heinz and Twinings.

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