The second agency founded by what are still the world's most famous admen, M&C Saatchi has built up a strong position for itself since formation in 1995, after Maurice and Charles Saatchi were ousted from their first agency Saatchi & Saatchi in a bitter boardroom row. Since then, M&C has risen to become one of the UK's foremost agencies, overtaking the original Saatchi business in domestic billings, and gradually establishing a global network which now stretches across 25 countries. Much of this expansion has been achieved organically organically or through local partnerships. The group has a particularly strong presence in the Asia Pacific region, considerably less so in the Americas. However, the performance of individual agencies has often been stormy. The Australian office has been rocked since 2012 by a succession of big losses and big gains. More serious still was the loss of M&C's two biggest UK accounts in quick succession in early 2014, followed by an ill-conceived overhaul of local management.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Mar 2018: M&C Saatchi reported record results for 2017, though as usual a host of different accounting adjustments complicated a clear view of the bottom line. Revenues were almost £252m, up 12% year-on-year, or 7% at constant exchange rates. M&C doesn't really offer organic or LFL revenue growth metrics like the other groups, but the 7% constant currency lift would put it at the top of table alongside MDC, well ahead of larger rivals like Omnicom or WPP. The group's three regional divisions in Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia & Australia jumped by between 23% and 26% each, an extraordinary achievement. Meanwhile, the UK managed a solid turnaround, up 6% as a result of strong contributions from PR, sponsorship and mobile. The Americas were the weak spot, down 3%. Statutory net profit jumped 37% to £4.6m, helped by adjustments. Headline profit before tax was up a slightly less dramatic but still strong 16%.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: M&C Saatchi showed a marked improvement in performance for the half-year to June after a significant wobble in its UK subsidiary in 2016. Revenues for the six months to-date jumped more than 21% to £121m (or 10% at constant currencies), while headline profit before tax was up 17% to £13m. However, the group's statutory accounts are complicated by a number of accounting adjustments mainly relating to management incentive schemes so the final reported profit was actually down slightly year-on-year. Also, despite much better results from the UK office, M&C's Asia & Australia division regained its position as the group's most profitable business.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Mar 2017: M&C Saatchi's continuing global expansion delivered a big boost to topline in 2016, with revenues up by 26% to £225m. Even at constant exchange rates the lift was a whopping 19%, while like-for-like growth excluding acquisitions was a very healthy 9% (better than any of M&C's larger marketing services rivals). The biggest contributors to growth were newly consolidated SS+K in the US, and strong performances in South Africa and Australia. That was the good news. Bottom-line wasn't anything like as strong, at least on a reported basis, with net profit plunging by almost two-thirds to £3.3m. That was the result of multiple impairment charges, revaluations and provisions for future earn-outs. On a headline basis, with those exceptional and non-cash items excluded, the group claimed a 15% increase in effective net profit to £15.4m. The main UK agency remains weak following an ill-conceived "takeover" in 2015 by the management team from digital acquisition LMFM. A fullscale restructuring last year, which included the departure of the LMFM managers, and the sale of equity participation to the new team, appears to have restored stability, but that came too late rebuild profitability. The UK was the group's only regional division to report a decline in annual operating profit in 2016.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Sep 2016: M&C Saatchi's results for the half year to June were boosted by strong performance in international markets, offsetting disappointing numbers from the core UK agency. Revenues were up 15% for the half (14% at constant exchange rates) to £100.2m, while net earnings jumped 22% to £7.7m. Like-for-like revenues soared by 27% in the Americas, 12% in Europe and 5% in Australia, compared to a 1% decline in the UK, mainly as a result of client losses at the main advertising agency. Other UK businesses performed well. The group disclosed that it had increased its holding in New York creative agency SS+K from 33% to 51%. The UK accounted for just under 41% of revenues in the latest six months, compared to 47% in the year ago period.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Mar 2016: M&C Saatchi enjoyed a significantly better year in 2015 than the year before, in which it lost two of its biggest UK clients. For 2015, group revenues were up 6% to £179m (or 10% at constant exchange rates), and the prior year's attributable net loss (mainly the result of accounting adjustments) rebounded to a profit of £6.5m. Australian industry site Mumbrella had some fun with M&C chief executive David Kershaw's printed summary of the year, pointing out that it has remained virtually the same for the past four years. "For example: '2015 was another year of outstanding progress for M&C Saatchi,' mirrors closely '2014 was another year of excellent progress for M&C Saatchi' and '2013 was another year of outstanding progress for M&C Saatchi' and who could forget 'M&C Saatchi has made very good progress in 2012'?" Kershaw was more eloquent in an interview with Campaign. He admitted that M&C Saatchi's main UK ad agency had been "the most disappointing part of the business" and that it was "a credit to the rest of the UK agencies" - primarily Lida and M&C Saatchi Mobile - that UK revenues had risen during the year. He said the reason the UK ad agency had "struggled" was that managers had no equity stake in the business, unlike M&C's international operations. This situation was resolved at the end of the year, when senior UK agency managers were granted a combined 30% stake in the business.
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