UPDATE 1-Huntsworth buys US PR agency; posts higher profit
* Buys Atomic PR for $13.3 mln in cash
* Further consideration may be payable based on profits
* FY pretax profit 26.7 mln stg vs 23.4 mln stg last year
* Revenue rises 11.1 pct to 173.6 mln stg
* Sees meeting like-for-like growth of 7 pct plus in 2011
March 23 (Reuters) - British public relations firm Huntsworth Plc posted a higher full-year profit on new businesses and said it had bought U.S.-based Atomic PR for $13.3 million in cash to expand its footprint in North America.
The company may have to pay a further consideration based on profits for each of the years to 2015.
For the year ended Dec. 31, Atomic's pretax profit was $1.9 million and its gross assets were $2.5 million.
Huntsworth, whose public relations brands include Citigate, Grayling and Red, maintained its forecast of meeting like-for-like growth of 7 percent plus in 2011.
The company said British Airways had appointed Grayling to handle its public relations in 38 countries from April 1 for three years.
Huntsworth reported a pretax profit of 26.7 million pounds ($43.2 million) for the January-December period, compared with 23.4 million pounds last year.
Revenue rose 11.1 percent to 173.6 million pounds.
Huntsworth, which also provides healthcare communications, said its final dividend was up 20.9 percent to 2.60 pence.
The company's major wins in 2010 included Morgan Stanley in China, Clifford Chance and RBS Corporate Banking .
Shares of Huntsworth have fallen 6 percent since November when it forecast 2010 sales below its estimates, underperforming a 7 percent rise in FTSE All Share Media Index . They closed at 69 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.
($1 = 0.618 British Pounds) (Reporting by Purwa Naveen Raman; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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