Year-end boost for Inntel, big changes at Grass Roots

Inntel and Grass Roots agencies have
released year-end results, in a week that has seen agency Smyle’s
announcement of a significant increase in turnover and profit.

Essex-based Inntel reported a 9.5 per cent increase in client spend during its outgoing financial year.

The
boost in business is the result of significant client wins and client
retentions in the financial services, charity and infrastructure
sectors, the agency said. New Inntel accounts included Age UK, while the
agency reported it had just retained its contract “with a
household-name financial institution, after a lengthy tender period, and
gained two major new clients”.

Earlier this year Inntel appointed two Key Account Managers to support its client portfolio.

Inntel
Managing Director Douglas O’Neill, said: “These are great results in a
challenging year. Our recently-launched meetings management portal is
currently being implemented for a major financial sector client and we
are busy talking to other organisations interested in managing their
meetings more efficiently”.

Global customer and employee
engagement specialists, The Grass Roots Group, headquartered in
Hertfordshire, has filed 2012 accounts that show a 6.8 per cent dip in
turnover, to £279.7m. The gross profit margin, however, improved by 1.3
per cent on a 12.2 per cent increase in operating profit before
exceptional costs.

EBITA before exceptional costs also increased,
up by 7.2 per cent to £7.4m, an improvement of £0.5m on the prior year.
The group reported its cash balance remained stable with the year-end
position being £21.9m.

The UK businesses continue to be the
driving force behind the global group, although 2012 saw much improved
performances from many of the overseas operations.

Grass Roots Spain delivered record profits and the German operation also delivered a return.

The
company said a much improved performance from Grass Roots America had
also given encouragement, as did increased demand in the US for
strategic meetings management services.

Grass Roots has
experienced a period of significant change in the last year, triggered
by the retirement of founder and leader David Evans, following a period
of ill-health.

Andy Lister returned to the business in the role
of COO, and at Board level major shareholder WPP’s representation was
beefed up. The UK-based events division has also faced substantial
challenges with a number of leadership changes.

A new Group CEO,
Richard Bandell, has recently been appointed and Jeremy Brown was
confirmed as the new MD for the events division in Marlow, one of four
events operations to be consolidated over the coming months into a
single Grass Roots Meetings & Events proposition headed by Group MD Des McLaughlin.

Lister,
in his Chief Operating Officer’s statement, said: ‘There is no doubt
that 2013 will represent an on-going period of change for the group as
we set and implement a new strategy and operating model. Our plans are
already taking shape and are delivering benefits from both an
operational and financial perspective. Restructuring costs will be
incurred… [but] these changes will deliver longer term benefits for all
of our stakeholders – shareholders, employees, customers and the
community – and will significantly improve performance in 2014.”

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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