THA on-track for return to profit, CEO claims

THA Group chief executive Kevin Ingram claims the agency is “very much back on track” to return to profit this year, following the announcement of figures that saw THA report post-tax losses of almost £600,000 last week. The company put £296,000 of the £597,000 losses down to one off costs associated with THA’s merger with Q Group in early 2006, such as heavy investment in upgrading IT support. Of the remaining £301,000, Ingram explained that it had simply been a year of poor performances for both the THA and Q operations, rather than being a result of failings in specific areas. “No one likes posting a loss, but you have good years and bad years,” Ingram said. “The merger also took a long time to go through.” The figures are for March 17-December 31 2006 (as the two businesses accounts were assimilated) and saw the group bring in turnover of £25m. Financial director Simon Gravett added that the losses also included an initial duplication of services following the merger: “We couldn’t begin redundancy plans on day one, for example,” Gravett said. Around 20 staff have either left or been made redundant following the amalgamation and total company numbers are 140. Elsewhere, THA is currently in the process of recruiting a procurement officer in order to centralise its purchasing set-up. Looking at business this year, Ingram said THA would easily turnaround last year’s losses but refused to give a figure for predicted profits. Gravett added that upgrading the IT systems had been partly led by growth in the agency’s reward and motivation businesses and subsequent requirement for cutting edge online redemption facilities, something he named as “a big growth area” for THA. For his part, Ingram pointed to 8850 – THA’s joint sponsorship and hospitality venture with Leicester Tigers rugby club – as another area of expansion. “Leicester Tigers has an excellent client base and corporate partnerships and terrific sponsorship opportunities,” Ingram said. “We are taking a huge amount of people this year’s Rugby World Cup and will be making a big announcement regarding 8850 before Christmas.”

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