RPM reports increases in turnover and profit

Agency RPM has reported a 24.2% increase in turnover, as well as increase of 23.5% in gross profit, for the year ending 31 March 2016.

Hugh Robertson: CEO and founder of RPM
Hugh Robertson: CEO and founder of RPM

Figures filed at Companies House show that the agency's turnover has increased from £16.5m to £20.5m, while gross profit has increased from £8.1m to £9.2m. For the year ending 31 March 2015, the agency reported drops in both turnover and profit.

Event spoke to Robin Burman, finance director at RPM, about the agency's improved performance. "The year before last was an unusual one, for a number of factors which we knew would not be permanent. A couple of our major clients chose not to invest in campaigns, and other brands that we would traditionally work with, experienced some changes in their marketing tactics, which were short term. There was a dip which was out of character," he said.

Burman added that revenue and profitability have been relatively consistent for a number of years and that figures for 2015 "were a one-off. So we bounced back from that, and we always expected to. We work hard to make sure that, in this incredible changing landscape which we all face, the products and services we're offering are relevant. You're looking at a completely evolving landscape in which clients are ever more sophisticated and the products on offer to them are increasingy complicated, requiring agencies like ours to evolve and change to keep up with the times."

Burman also said that agencies would have a significant challenge to tackle in 2017 as Britain prepares to leave the EU. He commented: "The worst part is the uncertainty; nobody really knows how this is going to pan out."

One of RPM's biggest concerns the next 12 months, according to Burman, will be the uncertainty in the workplace created by the decision to leave the EU and the method of that exit being very unclear.

He said: "The answer to any kind of uncertainty is that you have to be flexible, and our industries have been characterised over the last five or six years by an increasingly volatile nature. As a consequence we've re-engineered our business already so we're much more fluid. The key is having products that clients want to buy, and a flexible structure so that you can gear up and gear down if something comes in or doesn't come in."

Last month, agency TRO reported an 11% increase in profit. Earlier this month, NEP Group announced that it had acquired Avesco, the parent company of live communications agency Mclcreate.

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