- Healthcare and communications group Huntsworth swung to an interim loss, owing to costs associated with consolidating its property portfolio, an asset write down and acquisition and staff costs.

Pre-tax losses for the fix months through June amounted to £1.1m, compared to a profit of £10.3m on year.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 3% to £11.4m, as revenue jumped 21% to £123.5m.

Huntsworth said it had invested over £3m in staff and property 'ahead of expected stronger second half performance'.

It declared a full-year dividend of 0.75p per share, up 7% on-year.

'The first half of the year has seen the group continue to focus on extending its capabilities to meet its client needs through investment in new staff, offices and two new agencies,' chief executive Paul Taaffe said.

'With the acquisition of Creativ-Ceutical and KYNE, we have added world-class award-winning agencies which will help us to continue to grow our business.'

'The group expects to see a strong performance in the marketing and medical divisions in the second half of the year following recent client wins.'

'The communications division will continue to show improved revenue and profit performance, although Immersive is expected to be flat against strong comparatives.'

'The group retains a strong balance sheet and as we head into the stronger cash-generating second half of the year, we anticipate a reduction in our gearing levels from the current 1.8 times Ebitda towards our target of 1.5 times.'

'The board remains confident in the full year outcome and the longer-term prospects of the group.'

At 2:54pm: [LON:HNT] Huntsworth PLC share price was +5.5p at 94.9p

Story provided by