Magnet Harlequin revamps group offering

Jo Francis
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The nine companies that comprise the Magnet Harlequin Group have formalised their alliance and have relaunched with a collective offering under the 'Branded' umbrella.

The businesses, which are all owned by Writtle Holdings, comprise of Magnet Harlequin, MagLabs, Identica, GBC, Studio4, Technik, Williams Murray Hamm, WHMAdaptive and point-of-sale specialist Showcard, which was acquired earlier this month.

Executive chairman Alan Wright continues to head the division. He described the new business proposition as “an important and exciting new chapter”.

The Branded offering spans a wide range of strategic and creative production services, including digital asset management, compliance, and print and packaging management. The businesses work with a host of blue-chip clients, including John Lewis, M&S, Kraft Heinz and Estée Lauder.

It also has a new website at

Magnet Harlequin said the new structure had followed a two-year process “during which the agencies within the group found better ways of working together”. It began piloting an integrated offering during 2017.

The move also involves promotions for Magnet Harlequin business development director Jamie Richards (left of picture, below) and Williams Murray Hamm managing director Wybe Magermans, who join the board of Branded with a brief to drive international expansion.


Richards said: "We don't want to dissolve our history and the individual brands will be retained, but the common trend when we are having conversations with clients is that they want to buy more than one service from us."

Writtle Holdings also owns permanent instore display specialist Arken Pop, and a group of branding and design agencies.

The company has just released its financial results for 2018. Sales increased from £65.82m to £70.92m, while operating profits were up 22.8% at £6.7m. The bottom line profit figure was £4.23m (2017: £4m). The overall group employed 587 staff.

Writtle chairman Robert Essex described the period as “another year of excellent growth in turnover and profits” and said the business had ended 2018 with a record cash balance of £12.24m and no debt.

All of Writtle’s three business divisions increased turnover and margins.

The acquisition of Showcard was completed after the year-end, but Essex said the group “still had significant cash balances”.


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