- Digitally-focused insight and communications group Creston posts headline profits before interest and tax of £3.6m for the six months to the end of September - down from £4.4m last time.

Revenues of £35.7m were down from £37.2m and headline earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell to £4.6m from £5.4m.

Group chief executive Don Elgie said: "Revenue and profits for the six months are lower than previously anticipated, primarily as a result of volatility related to the phasing of some client work across the group and the exceptional amount of time incurred in new business activity.

"It has been a successful first half for the Group in many other respects, particularly in terms of net new business wins, having secured an annualised £7.9m of work for new clients compared to £3.1m in the prior year period. These wins will start to benefit the group in the second half of the year and will help compensate for the volatility in some of our clients' activity. As in previous periods we anticipate increased revenues in the second half of the year, with full year revenues being broadly flat year-on-year.

"We also completed the co-location of our UK businesses in the period and, whilst this has increased our operating costs, we are already seeing significant benefits in terms of client referrals and successful joint pitches.

"The group is therefore well-positioned for future revenue and profit growth and our confidence is further underpinned by signs of improvement in the prospects for our industry, such as the latest IPA Bellwether survey showing the fastest growth rates in advertising spending recorded. The work we have done in recent years to position Creston in the fast growing areas of communications, such as digital, will see us well placed to take advantage as volatility reduces and client budgets are under less pressure."

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