Turnover slipped to £25.5m but cost-cutting measures, including axing nine staff earlier this year, have kept profits more than healthy.
"Towards the end of 2008 we saw a number of clients cancel events and cut travel and meeting spend overnight, so we are satisfied with our overall results," said Banks Sadler CEO Leigh Jagger. "We are pleased with the increase in our gross profit and had always forecast for pre-tax profits to dip in 2008 as we made some significant investment decisions in our European offices and our IT systems. Excluding our IT investment and European set-up costs, UK profits were up by 10% in 2008."
The firm is cautiously optimistic for next year, suggesting the UK market had now stabilised.
"It would be foolish to think that the remainder of 2009 and 2010 will not continue to be challenging for the event industry, but we are confident that we're in a good position to capitalise on the opportunities we are starting to see come through," added Jagger.