the group passes the 100mn-euro mark

the group passes the 100mn-euro markthe group, agency established in 2005 by Zoltan Szigeti (photo), Mihaela Nicola and Bogdan Nicola, reported sales of 107.47 million euros for 2008, compared to 99.6 million euros a year earlier. The aggregated profit of the fourteen agencies under the group’s clout fell from 4.5 million euros to 3.1 million euros in 2008.

“It is very important that an agency (a homogenous group like all communications agencies in Romania) managed to breach the psychological mark of 100 million euros in one year alone”, Mihaela Nicola, CEO of the group told Wall-Street.

The company has an important media buying component, with nearly half of the turnover being generated by The Media Partnership – a buying company that serves a number of independent media companies. the group’s clients are generally confidential and are disclosed only in the presentations made to other potential clients.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
BrandsTalk 3,258,428 +20.4 227,697
Media Investment 30,019,258 -4.9 1,660,823
House of Media 11,426,891 +2.35 376,005
Nicola Porter Novelli 3,758,595 +147.7 95,226
Touch Communication 564,370 +1.7 33,023
Innovaty Production 31,079 -86.7 8,077
New Media Agency 664,067 +5.85 51,805
BT Production Group 4,924,294 +23 532,454
The Media Partnership 51,154,039 +9.45 7,708
My Media - - -1,485
Postercom 46,529 +12.2 13,850
Q Research 97,255 -0.3 40,937
Events & Production 1,341,516 +253.5 104,267
Navidoo 187,010 - 20,033
Total 107,473,331 +7.9 3,170,420

Ogilvy 62% growth

Ogilvy Romania has also cracked the 100 million-euro mark due to the addition of new accounts to its portfolio, such as Cosmote, Heineken, and Coca-Cola (Cappy). The group reported solid performance across the board, with 19-118% growth. Company-wide profit increased to 1.2 – 2.1 million euros. The ad agency Ogilvy & Mather was the year’s growth driver, its standalone profit soaring 26 times in the period under review.

Last year’s solid growth will stabilize the group’s performance throughout this year, according to Manuela Necula (photo), CEO Ogilvy Group. “As we entered into 2009, we enjoyed a solid position: professional and skillful team, client portfolio built on ethical principles. And we had a good running start and that helped us cope with the first six months”.

Agency Billings 2008 (euros) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
Ogilvy & Mather 7,097,984 +118.6 541,057
Mindshare 49,682,147 +98 731,706
Mediaedge:cia 29,960,259 +19.3 227,301
Ogilvy PR 4,420,059 +73 62,094
OgilvyAction 9.704,193 +49.4 464,919
OgilvyOne 2,306,825 +99.9 90,949
Total 103,171,467 +62 2,118,026

Zenith Media, growth driver of Centrade

Zenith Media, growth driver of CentradeThe marketing communications group founded by Radu Florescu grew 13.3% up to 81.6 million euros. Two-digit increases were observed at media agency Zenith Media and ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the other components of the group reporting fall in sales. 2008 was the first year when Centrade’s companies swung to profit, after Saatchi & Saatchi and Pantone reported losses in 2007.

Last year, the PR division broke off from Saatchi & Saatchi, going as independent.

“I am very satisfied with the financial results of the group in 2008. For 2009 we aim at keeping at least the same level of 2008, and now after eight months, we even hope for a 5-10% increase. The growth engine of the group is Zenith Media that ranks first in top biggest media agencies, according to the Ministry of Finance”, said Radu Florescu (photo), CEO of Centrade.

The group’s profit rose in 2008 from 2.1 million euros to 2.7 million.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) Yoy chg (%) Profit 2008
Zenith Media 62,597,406 +15 1,728,858
Saatchi & Saatchi 11,290,037 +38.3 541,923
Saatchi & Saatchi X 1, 512,899 -30.8 55,679
Saatchi & Saatchi PR 415,076 - 20,864
Pantone Studios 2,170,516 -25.9 63,912
Cable Direct 3,639,739 -16.1 311,952
Total 81,625,673 +13.3 2,723,188

Media lifts McCann WorldGroups turnover

McCann WorldGroup Romania – comprised of B.V. McCann Erickson (that includes Universal McCann and ad agency McCann Erickson), the interactive communication agency MRM Worldwide and BTL component Momentum – said its turnover stood 28.6% above year-ago levels, jumping to 78.9 million euros, according to the statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

Apart from the three companies, McCann group also includes the PR agency McCann PR that reported a turnover of 1,614,550 euros and a profit of 186,255 euros. Interpublic group that rests under McCann WorldGroup Romania umbrella, does not hold stake in McCann PR.

In January 2009, Interpublic became majority shareholder in MRM Worldwide, following to fully acquire the group founded by Bogdan Enoiu (photo).

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
B.V McCann Erickson 75,651,585 +31 1,931,539
Momentum 2,540,933 -18.5 369,393
MRM Worldwide 756,778 +46 77,880
Total 78,949,296 +28.6 2,378,812

BBDO up 14%

BBDO Group Romania posted a turnover of 76 million euros in 2008, 14% up from prior year. CRM Proximity, the marketing strategy agency of the group, generated 64.1% of the company’s business. Media Direction, the media planning and buying arm was the primary growth driver in terms of volume – 13.4 million euros more than in 2007.

Ad agency Graffiti BBDO said its turnover fell 23.2%, citing poor activity in the private pension market, according to Cosmin Radoi, managing director of the agency.

Proximity’s turnover aggregates also Pleon Graffiti’s billings, the public relation agency of the group. Pleon recorded turnover of 1.2 million euros last year, up 10% YoY. As of this year, the company will become a separate entity.

In 2008, BBDO Romania appointed Nora Marcovici (photo) as the new CEO of the group, while Nicoleta Padure took over the Media Direction tasks from Razvan Vrabiescu. Cosmin Radoi was nominated as managing director of Graffiti BBDO.

Agency Billings 2008 (euros) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
Graffiti BBDO 17,875,271 -23.2 450,492
Media Direction 54,816,922 +32.5 1,243,147
Proximity* 3,286,702 +64.1 68,668
Total 75,978,895 +13.95 1,762,307

*includes PR agency Pleon Graffiti

Leo Burnett solid performance across the board

Leo Burnett Romania said its turnover jumped by as much as 40% in 2008. “In percentage terms, the highest growth in sales was recorded by iLeo (…) and in terms of value, was of course attributed to Starcom MediaVest Group. The fact that these results are doubled by reiterations of the creative and strategic standards represents a great achievement, considering the major changes in the group”, said Stefan Iordache (photo), COO Leo Burnett Group.

The interactive marketing agency iLeo has nearly tripled turnover in 2008, up to 1 million euros, while Starcom MediaVest added 14.5 million euros to the group’s turnover. The marketing communications group reported across-the-board strong growth, except the ad agency Leo Burnett & Target, whose profit subdued 85%.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
Leo Burnett & Target 16,361,282 +9 60,646
Starcom MediaVest 41,323,336 +54.3 1,441,874
23 Communications Ideas 2,773,566 +41.5 201,867
The Practice 1,223,020 +66.6 164,000
iLeo 1,048,583 +181.65 235,945
Tru Media Research 66,020 - 48,814
Total 62,795,807 +40 2,153,146

Excellent year for Lowe group

“2008 was an excellent year for Lowe group and for Romanian advertising industry in general”, said Veronica Savanciuc (photo), chairman of Lowe Group. All agencies under the group’s hood had a solid performance throughout 2008, except Medic One, a company that for the moment is “dormant”.

The biggest growth in percentage terms was recorded by the public relation Lowe PR, whose profit margins remain low. On the other hand, Lowe & Partners’ profit shrank 87% and Initiative’s by 72%.

The communications group has made a round of strategic movements in 2008, such as the affiliation to Scholz & Friends under Lowe’s clout, development of the digital advertising-focused division, eLowe, reconfirmation of Orange account in Initiative portfolio as well as winning major accounts such as European Parliament or RBS, as mentioned by Savanciuc.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008
Lowe & Partners 5,140,747 +11.1 18,194
Initiative 45,112,487 +8.2 527,779
Lowe PR 943,761 +78.9 12,233
Medic One - - 2,187
Brand Connection 4,977,298 +10.5 54,905
Total 56,174,293 +9.35 601,924

New accounts and economic boom strengthen Publicis turnover

Advertising company founded by Teddy Dumitrescu (photo) skyrocketed 60% in 2008, and almost doubled profit, to 1.2 million euros. The growth was largely due to the increase in Publicis Romania’s client base, adding new names, such as Orange, Alpha Bank, Phoenix/Gusto.

“As for Optimedia’s growth in 2008, the primary drivers were: the increase in client base, higher ad budgets as a result of the unprecedented economic boom over the past three years and not the least, the quantitative normal growth of the agency. It is very unlikely to experience a similar economic boom sooner than 3-4 years from now”, said Cezar Batog, general manager Optimedia.

With respect to the group‘s ad agency, Publicis, Alex Badila, managing director says the addition of new clients was the primary growth driver. Another factor is linked to the evolution of sales, and clients’business, that has implicitly led to an augmentation of sales volume and advertisers’ ad budgets.

“The increase in 2008 turnover at Publicis Events is primarily due to the fact that we‘ve managed to convince clients to grasp the meaning of communications with the help of events. In 2008, we registered a record number of events. We can also speak about a diversification in service range and harness staff expertise that boosted clients’ confidence in the company’s potential”, said Gabriel Constantinescu, general manager Publicis Events.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro)
Publicis 15,328,960 +26.7 412,484
Optimedia 31,239,531 +84.6 691,570
Publicis Events 2,130,987 +43.1 91.300
Total 48,699,478 +59.6 1,195,354

Tempo, youngest communications group

Tempo, youngest communications groupLast year, Tempo Advertising became Tempo group that comprises four distinct companies: Tempo Advertising, Tempo Media, Brand Motion, and Rogalski Grigoriu Public Relations. Overall, the turnover increased by 8.5% while profit stood in the range of 1.4 million euros.

In 2008, Tempo group acquired equity interests and integrated interactive agency Kinecto and QB Promotion, few months after founder Dragos Grigoriu (photo) sold Tempo Media to Aegis group. At the end of the year, Tempo took over a share of padlocked Young&Rubicam’s client portfolio.

Agency Billings 2008 (euro) YoY chg (%) Profit 2008 (euro
Tempo Advertising 6,602,055 - 102,461
Tempo Media 7,639,970 - 1,232,909
Brand Motion 343,984 - 22,098
Rogalski Grigoriu PR 795,493 - 57,741
Total 15,381,502 - 1,415,209