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Digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group has strong acquisition pipeline

The company said it has a strong and growing pipeline of acquisition opportunities.
Digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group has strong acquisition pipeline
The company specialises in user experience, driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics

Prelims from the digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) charted a period of significant expansion as it started to deliver on its buy and build strategy.

It made acquisitions two (MMT) and three (Kameleon), expanding its offering into user experience, design and build and content marketing.

It also landed significant new clients including Vodafone, BGL Group, Centaur Media and Euromoney.

WATCH: Be Heard boss says 2017 started "extraordinarly well" ...

Be Heard said the current year has started strongly. MMT in particular is doing well thanks in part to cross referrals.

The company said it has a strong and growing pipeline of acquisition opportunities.

The group was set up by Peter Scott, who started his working life with Ogilvy and Mather and co-founded WCRS, which to quote his biography ‘morphed’ into Aegis under his tenure as boss.

The business was eventually sold to Japanese rival Dentsu for £3.2bn. After that he created Engine Group, which was sold to private equity for £100mln in 2014.

The company, which made its debut on AIM last November following a reverse into Mithril Capital, is currently valued at £28mln.

The short-to-medium term plan is to turn it into a £100mln turnover business focused on digital marketing – be that user experience (UX), driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics.

Scott and the team have spotted a gap in the marketplace, explained analyst Numis analyst Paul Richards in a recent research note.

“While the global holding groups continue to add revenue and capability through acquisition, they are often perceived as less able to innovate and adapt as quickly as the smaller, digital specialist,” he said.

However, the smaller digital specialists lack the access to capital, talent and experience to scale and win larger clients. Be Heard plans to build a mid-sized network that combines scale, expertise and agility.

Be Heard’s net revenues for the 12 months to December 31 were just under £9.5mln, giving underlying earnings of £2.4mln.

Year earlier comparisons were essentially meaningless as the company in its current form has only existed a matter of months.

Chairman Scott said: “The numbers at this stage show our growing scale but do not represent the size of our ambition; nevertheless I am delighted with the foundations we now have in place and what we have achieved this year.

“We are already seeing the first instances of our partners working together to offer better services to clients by solving complex problems in the connected world. We'll continue to connect our businesses under the banner of experience, innovation and excellence and we are confident that great things will happen." 

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