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Huntsworth plc Releases Interim Statement on First Quarter 2008

LONDON, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Huntsworth plc (LSE: HNT), "the Group", a leading international public relations and healthcare communications group headquartered in London, released its interim management report with respect to the Group's performance in the first quarter 2008 (the period ending March 31, 2008).

The statement follows below.

15 May 2008

Huntsworth plc

Interim Management Statement

Record net new business in first quarter of 2008

In the first quarter of 2008, the Group continued to trade very satisfactorily with results well ahead of comparable 2007 record levels.

Net new business in the first quarter has been particularly encouraging backed by a very strong new business pipeline. Some 80% of the Group's 2008 forecast revenue is already committed. The Group continues successfully to manage its margins both at operating company level and after central costs.

Public Relations

Our consumer and corporate public relations businesses are performing well and we are seeing communications budgets being deployed behind reputation management issues, digital public relations projects and corporate & social responsibility programmes.

New corporate & social responsibility mandates won in the first quarter include supporting the UK Environment Agency in its national Flood Awareness Campaign, Global Renewables in relation to its waste recycling services, Smokefree North West (UK) to promote a tobacco free future for children and Coca-Cola Great Britain to raise awareness of the positive reasons to recycle.

Our financial public relations companies are building strong new business in selected growth areas, particularly emerging markets, and in specialist work such as litigation support. There has been a significant upturn in our corporate and public affairs divisions which now sit alongside our financial public relations businesses. New financial programmes won in the first quarter include advising Pernod Ricard on its acquisition of Absolut Vodka, IPO support for Czech mining group New World Resources and investor relations support for China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources Inc. and Fortis Bank.

We have won a number of multi-country remits across the Group including coordinating and working on an eleven country programme for the navigation systems company MyGuide and a campaign for Land Rover's sustainability programme across twelve markets.

Huntsworth Health

In the UK, Huntsworth Health showed strong growth and margins and we continue to focus on maintaining excellent margins in our newly acquired companies in the USA. While Huntsworth Health's business covers a breadth of disciplines, the two areas showing greatest momentum are digital and medical communications.

Our domestic franchises in the UK and in the US still generate the greatest revenues. However we are seeing a significant strengthening of our global and pan-European business.

Domestic new clients for Huntsworth Health include Animas, Baxter BioSurgery, Shire, Merck-Serono and Hospira with new projects from existing clients including Celgene, Idev Technologies, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Allergan and Pfizer. The majority of wins have been for brands in specialist therapeutic areas including diabetes, breast cancer, anti-infectives and hypertension.

New European clients for Huntsworth Health include Daiichi-Sankyo, Pfizer and Novartis Vaccines, and global accounts won include Roche, Novartis, Intercell and Iroko. Our multi-disciplinary business is also increasing, and whilst most clients still offer new projects and pitches in one area (advertising or public relations, for example), we are regularly broadening our franchise with both domestic and European clients to offer a range of services on specific brands.

Peter Chadlington, Huntsworth CEO, said, "The year has begun well with a very satisfactory first quarter which has continued into the beginning of Quarter 2. The Group's financial position remains strong, further strengthened in February by the disposal of CapitalBridge, a non-core company, for US$31.7 million in cash. Having 80% of our forecast revenue committed at this early stage gives us considerable confidence for the year ahead."

Huntsworth plc will be announcing its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2008 on Thursday 28 August 2008. A presentation for analysts will be held at 9.00am at the offices of Numis Securities Limited, 5th Floor, London Stock Exchange, 10 Paternoster Square, London, EC4M 7LT.

About Huntsworth plc

Huntsworth plc (LSE: HNT), is a leading international public relations and healthcare communications group, with a portfolio of premier brands in communications serving global customers. Operating from 70 principal offices in 31 countries, Huntsworth meets the sophisticated demands of its clients both domestically and internationally by offering excellence within each of the Huntsworth's four core disciplines: Financial & Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Public Relations and Healthcare Communications. As of year end 2007, the Huntsworth international client base included: 52 companies in the FTSE 100, 110 companies in the Fortune 500 and 131 companies in the Eurotop 300.

In the US, Huntsworth companies include a number of healthcare communication firms, including Dorland Global, AXIOM, evoke interactive, ApotheCom, Brand Health International, Helix and Curatio CME Institute, as well as Grayling Global (formerly The Global Consulting Group), an international public relations, public affairs and investor relations firm, The Red Consultancy, an international public relations firm, and Citigate Cunningham a technology public relations firm.


Sally Withey

Chief Operating Officer

+44 (0)20 7224 8778

+44 (0)78 9996 1667

SOURCE Huntsworth plc
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