W&O Events ceases trading

W&O Events, which specialises in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, has ceased trading after failing to "turn around the company's prospects".

W&O Events managing director Andrew Gilkerson
W&O Events managing director Andrew Gilkerson

The agency’s website is currently unavailable and an automated response from managing director Andrew Gilkerson’s email address simply reads: "Unfortunately W&O has ceased trading."

W&O Events is part of Hertfordshire-based Choice One Group, which has two other divisions – Choice One Pharma and Choice One Healthcare Solutions.

A spokesman for Choice One confirmed W&O Events had ceased trading. "The management team has done everything possible to try and turn around the company's prospects," he said.

"But the sales pipeline was not being refreshed as we'd expected and margins had been squeezed, particularly in some of the sectors we work in, which in turn put pressure on the company's organisational structure.

"Its important to stress that other parts of the Choice One Group operate separately and are entirely unaffected." He was unable to comment further on what the company's closure means for its employees.

Gilkerson, formerly commercial director, took over as managing director when Sallie Coventry left the agency in February.

Gilkerson told C&IT in April that the outlook for 2014 was positive. "We've had a strong Q1 and good start to the year so expect business and revenue to be steady again this year," he said.

W&O was listed as having 34 employees in C&IT's Top 50 Agencies ranking in 2013, but declined the opportunity to provide financial figures for the 2014 State of the Industry report.

Last July, W&O closed its office in Ilkely, Yorkshire and merged it with the London office, which was based in Victoria. Around the same time, the company reported an increase in gross profit in 2012 to £3.4m, when compared to 2011.

Profit before tax for 2012 was £881,000. The completion of a restructure in 2011 and a focus on costs resulted in a slight increase in gross profit. In 2012, the business also opened an office in Dubai to serve the Middle East. 

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