Leading independent communications consultancy, Freshwater UK, says trading is “ahead of expectations”

The board of Freshwater UK plc, the leading independent communications consultancy, is pleased to announce that trading in the current year (to August 31, 2016) will be ahead of shareholder expectations based on the first half results.

Chief executive Steve Howell said:

“The group’s trading in the second half is above the revenue and operating profit run rates at the half year by around 11% and 14% respectively. Meanwhile, turnover for the year is now expected to exceed £5m – the highest figure for seven years.

“Freshwater has seen growth in the period across its divisions with the healthcare sector and Waterfront conferences and training doing particularly well.

“We have won new business by winning a number of competitive tenders as well as new projects from existing clients, allowing us to create 10 new posts across the group.

“Our staff in London and Cardiff have worked exceptionally hard in this period and the new appointments will ensure we can continue to meet client needs. We now have a sixty strong team with a very wide range of specialist expertise and sector experience.

“Freshwater is aiming to build on the success of the current year with further growth in 2016-17. While Brexit has created an added element of economic uncertainty, we do not envisage this having any impact in the short to medium term in the sectors in which the business is active.”

The board decided to make this statement in view of ongoing trading in Freshwater shares on the BritDAQ trading platform the company uses.  

The next scheduled statement for shareholders will be after the year end, but a further update will be provided if there is a further material change in the business’s circumstances.

Financial note

In 2014-15, Freshwater delivered a full year operating profit of £670,503 on a turnover of £4,198,192.

Interim results for the six months to 29 February, 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Highlights (half year)

2016 

2015

Turnover increased 10%

£2,161,197       

£1,963,648

Operating profit increased 24%           

£362,522   

£291,557

 

 

 



Notes

  • Founded in 1997 by former BBC journalist Steve Howell, the agency traded eponymously for seven years and established itself as one of the leading PR businesses in Wales. After rebranding as Freshwater in 2004, the group made a number of acquisitions and in 2007 listed on the Alternative Investment Market to raise funds for further growth. Following the banking crisis, investor sentiment turned against small companies prompting Freshwater to leave AIM in 2010 to focus on organic growth.  Since then the company has made good progress, growing every year since 2012-13.
  • Freshwater’s core business is multi-channel, integrated communications consultancy aimed at stakeholder, consumer, business and political audiences. The group has an in-house creative team with capabilities in web development, social media, video production, graphic design and event management. It also has a conference and training division, Waterfront, offering bespoke media training and policy conferences in education, planning, transport and energy.
  • The group’s top twelve clients in the six months to February 29, 2016 were: Thompsons Solicitors, Cumbria Success Regime, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Unite, Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, Welsh Government, Specsavers, First Keolis TransPennine Express, Cavendish Square Group, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, University of South Wales and Associated British Ports.
  • Freshwater is a public company and its leading shareholders are Hillco Investments (David Howell) – 15.51%, Finance Wales – 10.93%, IBIS Media VCT – 10.87% and Steve Howell – 8.67%, John Underwood – 4.47%, Herald Investment Trust –  3.97%. Freshwater’s shares now trade on BritDAQ – www.britdaq.com

Further financial information can be found in the investor section of the Freshwater website – www.freshwater-uk.com


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