Gold Greenlees Trott profits boosted by US

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The Independent Online
GOLD GREENLEES Trott, the advertising agency, shrugged off sluggish trading conditions at home to lift taxable profits by 6 per cent to pounds 4.3m for the year to 30 April.

The company, best known for its Red Rock cider campaigns, is paying a 5p final dividend, boosting the total by almost 3 per cent to 8.15p, the first increase in three years. But a higher tax charge led to a fall in earnings per share from 16.49p to 15.63p.

A strong US performance helped group operating profits rise 13 per cent to pounds 5.8m. The previous year's results were also buoyed by an exceptional credit of pounds 482,000.

GGT said that improving consumer confidence leading up to and immediately after the American presidential election brought in new business and raised operating profits by a fifth in dollar terms.

However, UK income dropped marginally as trading conditions remained subdued. Since the year-end, however, the company has won a pounds 15m campaign from Nationwide Building Society, one of the largest account moves this year.

Interest charges fell by 6 per cent to pounds 2.2m. In April GGT launched a one- for-three rights issue to raise pounds 14.7m to cut borrowings and finance acquisitions.

After a long search for a European partner, the group last month announced a commercial link-up with GGK, a privately-owned Swiss-based agency. The deal will give multinational clients, such as Cadbury Schweppes and Holsten Pils, access to a Europe-wide creative network.

'Our new partnership with GGK means that we can now compete with the very best for international client assignments,' Mike Greenlees, joint chairman, said.

The group said trading prospects in the US looked promising while the UK business would be helped by the GGK link-up. City analysts forecast taxable profits of about pounds 6.5m this year. The group is debt-free. The shares closed 3p higher at 288p, rating them on 16.5 times earnings.