Reporting a 31 per cent rise in pre-tax profits before exceptionals for 1998, Bob Seelert, the chairman, said the outlook for Saatchi & Saatchi was better than it had been for a long time. Last year was the first full year of trading for the company following its demerger from the advertising giant Cordiant.
He pointed out that Saatchi & Saatchi had won $500m of net new business in 1998 - more than in the previous two years combined. Much of the new business had come from two of the company's largest clients, Procter & Gamble and Toyota.
Since the start of the new year, Saatchi & Saatchi had added a further $200m of new business. "We are now positioned as a global agency on a world stage," he said.
Mr Seelert dismissed suggestions that Saatchi & Saatchi might be reunited with its founders, Maurice and Charles Saatchi, who are running their own rival agency. Mr Seelert said no talks had taken place between the two, adding: "We are two very different animals."