WRG turns loss into £2.5m profit and appoints new creative director

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Experiential agency WRG has announced an operating profit of £2.5m before exceptional items, resulting in a pre-tax profit of £1.5m. The figures compare to a loss of £1.3m in 2015.

The company was recently acquired by Huntsworth in a deal worth £24.7m.  

WRG gross profit was reported as £7.6m, up from £5.6m in 2015 althought turnover was slightly down from £47.5m in 2015 to £46.7m for year ending 31 October.

The agency attributed its success to a strategic improvement programme started in 2015, which management says gained momentum throughout 2016 following the appointment of Russ Lidstone as CEO.

WRG’s business plan included an alliance with The Moment and Just Communicate forming The Creative Engagement Group. This move enabled the business to cross sell services.

Lidstone CEO at WRG and The Creative Engagement Group, commented on the results: “WRG’s sustainable business performance is the result of a plan centred on client service, strengthening our creative output, plus attracting and retaining best in class talent across the business.

“As part of The Creative Engagement Group, WRG is able to provide a unique and innovative integrated approach to engaging audiences, which includes strategy, digital, film and immersive technologies.

“Following our recent acquisition by Huntsworth, we’re able to provide an even richer range of strategic and creative communications services to our clients. It’s a genuinely exciting time for all the team at WRG and The Creative Engagement Group.”

WRG has also announced the appointment of Paul Martin (pictured) as creative director.

Martin, who joins from events agency Innovision, will be based in WRG’s London office and lead the creative team. 

He has previously on campaigns for brands including Puma, Unilever and Amazon Prime and was instrumental in the creative development for briefs such as Facebook at Cannes Festival, the launch of BP’s Active Fuels, and British House Rio for the Department of Trade and Industry at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Martin, who will begin his new role next month, said: “I’ve spent my whole career working in integrated marketing, but I haven’t found an agency that fully embraced the fusion of physical and digital worlds to create unforgettable experiences until now.

“WRG not only has the ambition to create unforgettable experiences, but also has the creative vision and leadership to truly redefine the experiential category.”

Mark Gass, executive creative director WRG added: “We aim to make WRG one of the most exciting, creatively driven agencies within our industry and Paul is totally up for the challenge. He joins us at a really exciting time with cool opportunities coming in from across The Creative Engagement Group.”

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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