Freshwater enjoys best half year for six years

Freshwater UK plc, the media and communications consultancy with offices in all four UK capitals, has enjoyed its best half year for six years, according to results published today for the period to February 28, 2014.

The group posted an operating profit of £234,923 (First half 2013: £88,671) on a turnover of almost two million.

As a result of improved trading, Freshwater has a much healthier balance sheet with no earn out liabilities and bank borrowings reduced 42% to £235,248.

In a letter to shareholders, chairman David Howell and chief executive Steve Howell said:

“These half year results are an encouraging snapshot of the progress we have made.

“The board and senior management team have devoted considerable attention over the last 18 months to reducing unnecessary office costs while maintaining and growing revenue in our strongest sectors, regions and specialisms.

“Our overall running costs are 11% lower than in the same period last year – despite adding to our teams in markets where we are seeing profitable revenue growth or have the potential to grow.

“However, this is still a work in progress, with the next phase being to build on the growth we have achieved in some parts of the business and take full advantage of the emerging economic recovery.”

Freshwater’s top ten clients/revenue sources in the period (accounting for 55% of total revenue) were: Thompsons Solicitors, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Welsh Government (several departments), Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Unite, Specsavers, bonprix, BT, City & Guilds and a conference on planning major infrastructure projects.

The latter was the most successful event run by Freshwater’s training and conference division, Waterfront, since the business was acquired in December 2007.

Training clients in the period have included the London School of Economics, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Associated British Ports and several NHS organisations.

The spread of revenue between different sectors and types of business remains balanced.

Geographically, London and the South East was by far the most buoyant market and is now contributing more than 60% of group revenue, though some of this is serviced from other offices.

Inquiries to Mitchell Gadd on 02920 545370 and


  • Freshwater has a 55 strong team working from offices in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London with retained consultants in Birmingham and Sheffield.
  • Freshwater’s core business is multi-channel, integrated communications consultancy aimed at stakeholder, consumer, business and political audiences. The group has an in-house creative team with capabilities in web development, video production, graphic design and event management. It also has a conference and training division, Waterfront, offering bespoke media training and policy conferences in education, planning, transport and energy.
  • Freshwater joined the Alternative Investment Market in 2007 but de-listed in 2010 because investor sentiment had turned against small companies. The group’s leading shareholders are Hillco Investments (David Howell) – 15.5%, Finance Wales – 10.93%, IBIS Media VCT – 10.87% and Steve Howell – 8.67%.
  • Freshwater’s shares trade on BritDAQ

Freshwater’s half year accounts and annual reports can be found in the investor section of its website.