Grass Roots eyes acquisitions to drive growth

Grass Roots is drawing up a shortlist of potential acquisitions, following a year of "unprecedented change" that saw its events division make a loss of £100k.

Des Mclaughlin, divisional director of Grass Roots Meetings and Events
Des Mclaughlin, divisional director of Grass Roots Meetings and Events

Grass Roots is considering acquisitions in the UK and the US for an agency with a "strong creative offering", according to Des Mclaughlin, Grass Roots Meetings & Events divisional director, following the release of the Group's financial results for 2013.

In Grass Roots Group's accounts, filed at Companies House this week for the year ending 31 December, operating profit decreased from £4.6m in 2012 to £2.6m.

Turnover fell by 0.8% to £277.4m and pre-tax profits dropped from £3.8m to £1.1m.

Grass Roots Meetings & Events, which is one of the group's four divisions, reported a loss of £100k.

The report stated that 2013 was a year of "unprecedented change" with a "series of one-off items supressing the overall result".

Mclaughlin told C&IT: "We made £100k loss in 2013 and the figures are low because of the cost of closing the Worcester office and relocating to London and the significant costs incurred of restructuring Marlow.

"We sold the business in France and closed some loss-making companies in the US. We closed a public services office in Staffordshire because it didn't fit with Grass Roots overall business. In 2013, we consolidated around 29 different companies into four divisions – Grass Roots Meetings & Events being one - with very clear aims." 

Mclaughlin pointed out: "It is difficult to compare our 2013 results with 2012 when Grass Roots HBI was its own company with its own set of accounts."

Future growth

Mclaughlin added: "We are looking to make acquisitions in the US and even the UK market for an agency with a strong creative offering. I will be drawing up a shortlist by September. We have exciting plans in Asia too.

"In 2014, Grass Roots Meetings & Events will make no less than £1m and the group is on track to make £9m in profit. Grass Roots Group CEO Richard Bandell aims to grow each of the four divisions by 20% year-on-year by 2020. 

"We will be looking at the creative and production side of the agency, investing in new delegate management technology and be more proactive in research and development."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Expert offers advice on unusual dietary requirements

Expert offers advice on unusual dietary requirements

Food and allergen specialist explains why you should take every allergy request seriously.

New 3,000 capacity venue Magazine London launches with big name events

New 3,000 capacity venue Magazine London launches with big name events

North Greenwich venue opens its doors with high-profile industry events announced for Autumn 2019.

Events industry can combat climate change in two key ways, says UN officer

Events industry can combat climate change in two key ways, says UN officer

As people take part in global climate strikes ahead of Monday's UN Climate Change Summit, how can the events industry play its part?

New global executive creative director for 2Heads

New global executive creative director for 2Heads

Latest appointment for the agency will oversee the expansion of creative and design teams.

How voice recognition is changing the industry

How voice recognition is changing the industry

Voice technology is about more than playlists and weather reports - wayfinding is helping to show just how useful the tech is.

'Overtourism does not really exist, it is a media creation'

'Overtourism does not really exist, it is a media creation'

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis explains why there's no such thing as overtourism, just bad management of destinations.

Bruges to open new convention centre in 2021

Bruges to open new convention centre in 2021

Famous Portuguese architect has made natural daylight a top selling point of the new city-centre venue.

BeSixth hires head of global strategic partnerships

BeSixth hires head of global strategic partnerships

The recently-launched event agency's new appointment will be based in the Los Angeles office.

What's happening at Italy at Hand, The Event, 2019 in Rome this year.

Case study: Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference

Case study: Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference

The conference in Christchurch, New Zealand focused on indigenous attitudes towards human-animal relations.

LATEST JOBS