News Column

Porta Communications Loss Narrows On Revenue Growth

May 28, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Porta Communications PLC Wednesday expressed confidence for 2014, after posting a narrowed pretax loss for 2013 as revenue increases offset costs from bolstering its business with start-ups and acquisitions.

The company posted a pretax loss of GBP3.1 million for last year, narrowed from a loss of GBP4.6 million in 2012, as revenue more than doubled to GBP24.4 million, from GBP8.4 million, but was somewhat offset by significantly higher sales costs and a rise in administrative expenses.

Sales costs rose to GBP13.3 million, from GBP3.8 million in the previous year.

In the company's communications business, its Newgate Communications brand launched new start-up businesses in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Its Thirteen Communications start-up business began operations in the fourth quarter of the year. Porta increased its initial holding of 30% in Thirteen Communications to 51% during the year at a cost of GBP350,000, paid for by issuing 2.7 million shares at 13 pence each.

Following the year end, the company acquired a 51% interest in Redleaf Polhill for GBP1.8 million, with an option to acquire the remainder of the business in the next three years.

In its marketing and advertising segment, Twenty20 Media Vision saw a good start and finish to the year, although it incurred bad debt in December and trading during the summer months was quiet. Start-up business 21:12 has taken longer than expected to produce a positive contribution but is expected to improve in 2014 on a number of client wins, the company said.

Porta said that it was actively looking for profitable bolt-on acquisitions for both businesses in marketing and advertising. Following the year end, the company has acquired two operations from WSM Communications Group Ltd, which it will integrate into 21:12.

Porta said that it believes it needs to continue expansion in Germany, France, India and North America, and that it had already identified potential acquisitions in each of these territories. It will also look to build on its Thirteen Communications business in the UK.

The first quarter of the new year started "as buoyantly" as the final quarter of 2014, Porta said, underpinning its confidence for the year.

"With a number of new quality professionals welcomed during the year we are confident that the team we now have in place has the skills, experience, creativity and drive to deliver our ambitions," said Chief Executive David Wright in a statement.

Shares in Porta were trading down 4.2% at 14.13 pence Wednesday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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