Freshwater UK plc, the leading independent communications consultancy, today announces its best half-year results since 2008 as its focus on organic growth bears fruit.
In the six months to 29 February 2016, the Cardiff and London based group saw turnover rise 10% to £2,161,197 and operating profit rise 24% to £362,522.
The period saw Freshwater reap the benefits of prioritising sectors such as healthcare, transport, higher education, professional services and not-for-profit as part of a new strategy developed four years ago.
“Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the business, and in that period we have grown from a small Welsh start-up to become a consultancy that competes successfully with the biggest names in the industry,” said Angharad Neagle, group managing director.
“In our infancy we grew rapidly in Wales, then we showed youthful ambition by acquiring similar regional and specialist agencies in other parts of Britain, and now we are using all that experience to build a mature business that is growing in a balanced and sustainable way.
“When the recession hit we were spread too thinly across the country and it was hard to manage so many offices in a cost effective way. Concentrating our resources in Cardiff and London has allowed us to operate efficiently while still being able to deliver for clients in any part of the UK because our teams are so steeped in their sectors and will work flexibly with them wherever they are.
“Our approach is straightforward: we deliver great results for our clients by understanding their goals and helping them use all appropriate media channels to communicate consistently and effectively with diverse stakeholders.”
The group’s top 12 clients in the period 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.
New business wins in the last six months include selection for supplier frameworks Tarmac and the Welsh Language Commissioner and retained contracts with rail supplier Alstom, accountants Broomfield & Alexander, licensed character confectionery company Bon Bon Buddies, taxi firm Veezu and commercial property agents Cushman & Wakefield.
Freshwater has also won projects to promote the National Assembly for Wales election 2016, the South East Wales Metro and a Green Growth Summit.
The group’s conference and training division, Waterfront, delivered half-year revenue of £0.23m – an increase of 13% on the same period last year and its best six months since being acquired in 2007. Bookings for events in the second half are so strong the division has already achieved 86% of its annual budget.
Freshwater has a 55-strong team and operates from offices at Cardiff Gate in South Wales and Clerkenwell in central London. Recent high profile appointments include John Morris, former head of public affairs at Birmingham International Airport and Virgin Trains, and Saffron Pineger, former head of media at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.