Communisis shares tumble after warning

By Jo Francis, Thursday 12 November 2015

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Shares in Communisis fell to a year low after the group warned that profits would be lower than expectations after a disappointing performance by its latest acquisition, shopper marketing agency Life.

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Life: biggest buy yet for current Communisis team

The group’s share price fell by 7.87p, or 15.18%, to a 52-week low of 43.75p after the announcement this morning.

It said that it would still deliver double-digit growth in its adjusted operating profit for the year, but that this would be “slightly below previous expectations”, because Life was “taking longer than anticipated to contribute its projected earnings”.

Communisis acquired £7m turnover Life in January in a deal worth up to £23.3m. It was the largest acquisition deal yet under the firm’s current management.

In a statement, Communisis reaffirmed that the rationale for the acquisition remained clear, and said Life was building a strong pipeline for 2016. It said some of the agency's clients had reduced or deferred their spend, and new business was yet to come on-stream.

Chief executive Andy Blundell also highlighted a number of recent contract wins and renewals at the group, and said: “Communisis will show good growth overall and increased cash generation in 2015.”

It has signed three brand deployment deals with large European clients in FMCG and electronics, and has renewed its contract with health and beauty retailer Boots.

The 52-week share price high is 63p.

Communisis’s financial year ends on 31 December. The group had sales of £343m last year.

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