Universal defends latest financial results

Agency Universal has defended its latest set of results and claimed it is on track for significant growth in 2007. The figures, covering the 14-month period to 31 December 2006, show a 46% rise in turnover to £28.8m, while gross profit increased 42% to £4.9m, but pre-tax profits were down 80% to £150,587. Managing director Mike Ford defended the pre-tax figures, putting the fall down to three exceptional items: the 14-month trading period – extended by two months to realign the agency’s financial year and consequently including the slower months of November/December – increased staff numbers from around 75 to 106 and the fact that the results also include two years’ bonuses, which came in at £700,000. Forecasting on this year’s figures, Ford said: “Looking at gross profits and revenue for this year, we are looking at double-digit growth for 2007.”

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