William Hill awards D.M. contract to Leeds company

Profits may be down at Communisis plc, but the future looks rosier

Direct mail and print services group Communisis plc had better news this week as it announced that William Hill plc had joined its client list.

The Leeds-based company has been through a rough patch which saw profits plunge 78 percent and chief executive of three years Steve Vaughan about to depart; he will be replaced by sales director Andy Blundell. Pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year fell to GBP1.8 million from GBP8 million in the previous year.

"Trading in the first half of 2009 was difficult for Communisis and resulted in a disappointing financial performance," Chairman Peter Hickson said. "The background of economic recession combined with the company's exposure to the financial services industry resulted in substantial volume reductions in our manufacturing plants.

"There are some indications that the worst of the conditions are behind us. Towards the end of the second quarter, some improvement was noticeable, particularly in order volumes in direct mail.

"We have had some success in winning new customers. Cost reduction exercises undertaken in the first half have been fully expensed already, but will only show full benefits during the second half, and on into next year. Taken together, we have some optimism that the second half will be better than the first and that 2010 will be better than 2009."

Revenues in direct mail have fallen 25 per cent on a year ago, and as a result, group turnover was down from GBP148 million to GBP95 million.

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