Trading Statement

Freshwater set to deliver 7% annual revenue growth

Freshwater UK plc, the independent media and communications group, is set to deliver its best trading performance since the onset of the recession in 2008.

In the year to 31 August 2014, the group expects to achieve organic revenue growth of more than 7% and profitability in line with UK marketing sector benchmarks. Turnover for the year will be around £4m.

The group’s year-end financial position will also be stronger than at any time since 2008 with healthy trading converting into strong operating cash flows and a balance sheet showing positive net current assets.

“It’s great to see the business doing so well, especially as we are approaching the tenth anniversary of the Freshwater brand,” said Steve Howell, chief executive.

“We rebranded in 2004 as part of a strategy of creating a UK-wide business, and these results demonstrate you do not have to be headquartered in London to be successful.

“We have a 19-strong London team and recognise the importance of the London market. But we have also recruited in Cardiff where we have 31 staff covering head office functions, creative production services and consultancy work that can be done outside London.

“The key to our success has been the energy and creativity of our talented teams and their total commitment to delivering services of the highest quality across all communication channels.

“Even in the toughest days of the recession, we were at the forefront of the exciting changes taking place in the media world and treated them as opportunities to offer our clients new ways to reach their audiences.

“This ‘full service’ capability means we can approach the needs of our clients with complete flexibility, providing best advice on channel and agility in responding to new challenges they face.”

Freshwater’s growth has come from both an expansion of work with existing clients and entirely new business.

New clients in the year have included University of South Wales, League Against Cruel Sports, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The group has also won new projects from existing clients such as Thompsons Solicitors, Unite, Specsavers, bonprix, Curvissa, BT, City & Guilds, Bon Bon Buddies, the Football Association of Wales and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, Freshwater’s training and conference division, Waterfront, has had its best year since the business was acquired in December 2007.

Waterfront is now established as one of the UK’s leading producers of policy conferences in education, planning, transport and energy and a provider of a wide range of media and communications training programmes to organisations such as the London School of Economics, Switzerland’s embassies in London and Dublin, Associated British Ports and the NHS.

“The next 12 months will see further development of our services,” added Steve Howell. “These will include enhanced web development capabilities through the appointment of a technical director and new training products.

“We will also continue to encourage and empower younger talent, continuing the succession strategy that began 12 months ago with the appointment of Angharad Neagle as group managing director.

“We look forward to entering our second decade as Freshwater in a strong position to continue to develop and grow.”


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