Chief Executive Statement

Group revenue of £367.5 million was 7% higher than the previous year.

This growth was driven by our Strategic Marketing segment, which delivered growth of 11% on an organic basis along with acquisitive growth of 19%. Revenue within our Books Segment was 3% ahead of the prior year. These performances were partially offset by a 7% decline in our Marketing Activation segment, due to continued pressure within the grocery retail sector.

The Group’s statutory loss before tax of £5.7 million (2015 – profit of £8.7 million) includes Adjusting Items of £36.1 million, of which £12.7 million relates to a non-cash impairment charge in the Marketing Activation segment. The Group’s Adjusted profit before tax declined to £30.4 million (2015 – £33.0 million) and Adjusted basic earnings per share decreased by 13% to 17.61 pence (2015 – 20.32 pence).

This year saw further growth in our Strategic Marketing segment, which contributed 58% (2015 – 46%) of the Group’s Adjusted operating profit, offset by decline within our Marketing Activation and Books segments. Towards the end of the year, as previously announced, we experienced the cancellation and deferral of a number of large contracts within our Strategic Marketing segment, reflecting greater caution within our customer base over the allocation of budgets.

Whilst we can confirm that this was a short-term challenge and that we have made encouraging progress in replacing those revenues, this nonetheless materially impacted the outturn for the year. The Board is recommending a final dividend of 5.45 pence, making a full year dividend of 7.80 pence (2015 – 7.80 pence), reflecting the Board’s confidence in the Group’s ability to make further strategic and financial progress during the year ahead.

We are confident in our strategy for further growth, which remains centered around three key priorities:

  • organic growth through collaboration and investment in ur existing marketing services businesses
  • internationalisation, primarily client-led, into large and high growth markets; combined with
  • further acquisitions of complementary, ambitious and growing Strategic Marketing businesses, which share our common attributes and ethos.

Once again, we have made strategic progress in all three areas.

matt signature.jpg

Matt Armitage, CEO

October 2016

Download the full Annual Report 2016.

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  • We are confident in our strategy for further growth and have once again made progress in all three areas – collaboration, internationalisation and acquisition.

    Matt Armitage, CEO

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