LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Contracts from the soccer World Cup and Commonwealth Games helped marketing group Chime Communications Plc to increase first-half operating profit by 50 percent, the company said on Wednesday.
Chime has been building up its sports marketing operations and has added former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe to its board after buying his consultancy business almost two years ago.
“We have had a strong first half driven by our involvement in the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games,” said Chief Executive Christopher Satterthwaite.
Chime, which also has advertising and public relations divisions, said operating profit rose by 50 percent to 17.2 million pounds ($28.5 million) in the six months to the end of June.
The company struck a note of caution in its outlook, saying there may need to be “some adjustment” if the pound remained strong against the dollar and the Brazilian currency.
However, Chime shares rose almost four percent to 321 pence by 0825 GMT, valuing the company at just over 300 million pounds.
Brokerage Peel Hunt upgraded the shares to “buy” from “hold”, saying it was positive that the company had started to negotiate contracts for the 2016 Olympics.
Chime boosted its presence in motor racing last year when it bought Just Marketing Inc for $71 million, a deal criticised by Chime shareholder WPP which has a stake of around 17.5 percent in the company.
“WPP informed us in November 2013 that they were exploring a sale of their stake. We have had no further notification,” Chime said in the earnings release.
$1 = 0.6037 British Pounds Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Mark Potter