Best Performing Listed Firm
For the firm in the MPF/Noble Professional Services Index, calculated by Standard & Poor’s, whose market capitalisation has grown at the fastest rate in the year to 31 August 2009.
From left: Michael Strong (CB Richard Ellis), Tracey Byer (DTZ) and John Llewellyn-Lloyd (Noble)
Three events in the past year hold the key to DTZ’s 307% annual growth in market capitalisation:
- The appointment of Paul Idzik as CEO of a new management team with proven strategic and operational skills.
- A successful £49m share placement.
- Securing a £15m credit facility from its largest shareholder, as well as restructuring its banking facilities.
We believe that DTZ will continue to compete strongly in its well-established investment and asset management businesses, capitalise on its strong brand to win new business, and focus on servicing its clients.
The acquisition this week of 218 Halifax Estate Agency branches means that LSL Property Services will shortly be the second largest estate agency network in the UK. Amidst the considerable turbulence influencing the property sector, LSL turned in robust figures for the 1st half of 2009. Group revenue may have declined by 20% to £74.1m, but management has focused on cost reductions, resulting in lower operating costs, down 25% y-o-y, whilst increasing the operating margin from 10% to 14.6%, resulting in group profit increasing by 39% to £9.4m. LSL aims to grow market share as competitors struggle. Although short term prospects are influenced by the banking crisis, the long term prognosis for residential property remains strong.
JOINT 3RD PLACE
Marketing and communications are undergoing radical changes with the financial pressures of the current recession accelerating the process. Creston has had eight years of uninterrupted growth with its headline profit margin of 19% in the year to March 2009 being one of the highest amongst listed marketing services groups. Creston strives to be an insight and communications group for the 21st century by excelling in creative excellence across a range of digital platforms; the elimination of duplication, so that the client receives the best results; and clear reporting lines. The financial year has started with some high profile client wins and the pipeline remains encouraging.
Chime continues to perform strongly. Its one-stop-shop, integrated and diversified, channel neutral and low cost approach is the new black. Clients using more than one group company increased to 169 in the first half of 2009 - up from 159. Its 30 top clients comprised 57% of income – up from 46%. Strikingly, its income per client rose to £64k compared with £51k. The outlook is good in spite of economic uncertainty as reputation management takes on a higher importance than ever. Chime’s digital work and expertise is growing and expanding and its international model is becoming more competitive.
ROLL OF HONOUR
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