Print remains 'critical' to HH Global in buoyant Q3 results

By Rhys Handley, Monday 11 March 2019

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HH Global marked year-on-year growth in its latest quarterly results, with boosted print volumes a “fundamental” contributing factor.

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MacMillan: "We are very focused on signing the right type of business at the right value"

Q3 figures for the three months to 31 December 2018, showed a 16.3% year-on-year revenue boost to £110.9m for the Leatherhead-headquartered BPO outfit.

Gross profit for the quarter came to £25.9m – representing a 23.3% margin – which was up from Q3 2017-18’s £20.7m.

According to global chief executive Robert MacMillan, an increased interest from retailers in outsourcing print, combined with HH Global’s preference for long-term client relationships such as its recent three-year signing with JD Sports, has driven a significant boost in the amount of print appearing in the company’s media mix.

“Print still is and will remain fundamental to our offering,” he said. “We are seeing our print volumes increase because increasingly clients in the retail space are looking to outsource, where print was one of the last bastions where clients went directly to manufacturers.

“Now people are seeing the benefit of outsourcing and print will remain a critical part of our strategy. We are very focused on signing the right type of business at the right value and that comes from being able to articulate to clients why we are the right choice and not just going in at the lowest common denominator.

“We are in a very volatile market and I think some of our competition are struggling very publicly, so we need to maintain our focus. We are bullish about our final quarter as we come to the end of the first year of a three-year plan to double the size of the business.”

MacMillan said that he anticipated circa-30% year-on-year growth of HH Global’s EBITDA when the Q4 results are released, matching or bettering Q3’s 30.1% growth to £7.5m.

He added that the firm remains acquisitive as it heads into the closing weeks of the fiscal year, with the recently-confirmed purchase of Italian luxury marketing firm Alecom leading a clutch of soon-to-be-announced acquisitions leaving HH Global in a “good position” for 2019-20.

Key focuses in the company’s three-year plan, as well as a longer-term strategic broadening, will centre around the data-powered services of another recent acquisition – investment company Veriteva and its subsidiary Blueberry Wave, the February acquisition of which brought Lateral Group founder Nick Dixon back to the print sector.

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