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Restructuring helps boost profits at Ogilvy & Mather

PROFITS at the Irish businesses of public relations and advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather remained strong last year, as the company reaped the benefits of an internal restructuring.

Accounts just filed for Ogilvy & Mather Group Ltd (O&M) and Subsidiaries show that for the year to the end of December, the group made a profit of €2.01m, up marginally on the same period a year earlier.

The higher profit came even as turnover fell a little more than 9pc to €23.4m.

Ogilvy & Mather controls a number of well-known firms in Dublin, including Wilson Hartnell Public Relations (WHPR), and the advertising firms OgilvyOne and Young and Rubicam Ireland, as well as having a 50pc share in media buyer Mindshare.

Profits were boosted by a reduction in the group's operating expenses by nearly €2m. During 2010 the group restructured OgilvyOne and the Ogilvy & Mather advertising company.

WHPR boss and group board member Brian Bell said the company had performed well given the difficult economy.

"The group has had a good year but that was due to internal restructuring rather than an improvement in the overall economic environment. The market for all media companies remains challenging," he claimed.

The group directors "continue to be concerned with the impact of the economic downturn on the advertising industry as a whole" and the group was now "focused on creating new revenue streams" for itself, the accounts show.

Staff levels rose to 102 from 87 in 2010, while the total remuneration bill climbed 7pc to €7.5m.

The group's pension liability more than doubled to €3.8m. Mr Bell said the liability was "something that was being monitored" but the performance of the pension broadly matched the Irish pensions industry overall last year.

O&M is owned by WPP, the world's largest advertising group, and during 2011, O&M paid a dividend to its parent WPP Ireland of €5m.

Irish Independent