M&C Saatchi looks to extend CRM agency to US

David Kershaw.
David Kershaw.

As its pretax profits rise by 13%, the company eyes a New York office for Lida

M&C Saatchi plans to continue the international expansion of its CRM agency Lida with a New York office.

UK-based Lida opened a new site in Sydney, Australia, in 2014 which works on accounts such as phone company Optus.

According to David Kershaw, the co-founder and chief executive of M&C Saatchi, "[W]e are now actively looking at probably what will be an acquisition-based expansion for the US. It will almost certainly be New York."

He revealed the plans as M&C Saatchi reported headline pre-tax profits before tax of $14.83 million, up 13%, for the first six months of this year.

Revenue at the group, which includes M&C Saatchi London and Lida, was $135.13 million, up 6% year-on-year.

While the agency did not provide specific figures, UK revenues were up up 9% compared to the same period last year, with CRM and mobile operations said to be performing strongly.

Kershaw said: "Our revenue grew by 9% which is about double that of the market. Operating profit grew by 5%, and most of that is on the growth of new business wins. 

"The most significant advertising wins were in the Royal Mail and Public Health England. In the digital business there was Toni and Guy with Unilever, and that came out of our acquisition of Lean Mean Fighting Machine. Then Carnival Cruises, which was a significant win.

"Also the Sport and Entertainment division created the Wear the Rose campaign for O2."

In addition, the company has started its own shopper business that will focus on marketing to consumers at the point of purchase. M&C Saatchi Shop will be based in London and will launch in the autumn, headed up by the former Arc managing partner, Michelle Whelan.

This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

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