Wasserman Experience reports 10% drop in profit

Agency Wasserman Experience recorded a decline in gross profits to £3.7m in 2015, due to a single test project for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Paul Saville, head of experience at Wasserman Experience
Paul Saville, head of experience at Wasserman Experience

Wasserman Experience recorded gross profits of £3.7m for the year ending in December 2015, a 10% drop from £4.1m in 2014. Turnover in 2015 was £14.2m, compared to £29.1m in 2014. In accounts filed to Companies House, the decrease in revenue year-on-year was due predominantly to the impact of an activation in Qatar.

Paul Saville, head of experience at Wasserman Experience, explained: "In 2014 we had a single Qatar-based project that significantly skewed our figures. It was one of the first test projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, delivering the world’s first open-air, air conditioned football fan zone and running a series of screening and fan events inside it during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. A significant proportion of this project was experimental and construction-based, with lower margins than our traditional work and, in order to service this project, we opened an office in Doha, Qatar."

Saville noted that although there was "a slight dip in gross profit this was largely due to a steadying of turnover in line with years prior to 2014, i.e. without the Qatar anomaly". He said: "The gross profit versus turnover is notably improved from 2014. We take pride in the fact that the core underlying business continues to be strong as we are becoming much more strategically involved with our clients. We are leading the move towards a consultancy-based experiential business, with not every project necessarily involving physical activation."

Future growth

Saville also confirmed that while projections for 2016 remain confidential, the agency is predicting increased growth in line with year-on-year trends, ignoring the 2014 anomaly.

Wasserman Experience, which counts NFL, Spotify, ATP and Sky among its key clients, was recently appointed as the pan-European experiential agency for a global spirit company, across all its brands. It has also combined its two London offices into a single new location in Aldwych.

Future plans

Saville said the agency's focus is on "continued sustained growth and further integration into the wider service offering of Wasserman, combining the strengths of the Wasserman marketing and sponsorship consultancy with our creative brand experience expertise, and also social media strategy and amplification by social influencers through the recently acquired Laundry Service and Cycle networks."

He added: "At the moment we are seeing a pleasing trend towards providing a lot of experiential consultancy for our clients as shifts towards brand experience become the core strategy of many brands."

Check out Paul Saville's predictions for experiential this year. Wasserman Experience was also among Event's top 30 brand experience agencies in 2016. Last week Event reported that Ben Knight had joined the agency as an account director from Pretty Green

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