The Serviceplan Group has closed the 2017/2018 financial year with an increase in sales of 7 per cent and generated agency fees of EUR 415 million. This means that Europe’s largest independent communications agency was once again well above the industry average of 1 per cent this year. In the past financial year, the focus on internationalisation has been boosted with the opening of a House of Communication in New York, and Serviceplan Group’s entry in the AdAge Agency Report Global ranking, combined with notable international customers. The most significant new business that has been gained in international locations includes; Tencent (China); Auchan (France); Ferrero (Italy); and Netflix (Spain).
The Serviceplan Group, Europe's largest owner-managed communications agency, has once again closed a successful financial year in 2017/2018. This is demonstrated by the figures released today for its 47th financial year, which ran from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. Serviceplan Group’s 7 per cent balance sheet increase in the fiscal year 2017/2018, is 7 times more successful than the majority of other German advertising and communications agencies, who saw a GWA Spring Monitor increase in sales of 1 per cent.
Serviceplan Group recorded gross income (fees and commission) of EUR 415 million (2016/2017: EUR 388 million). Staffing levels were also further strengthened over the past financial year: the agency currently has a workforce of around 4,000 employees, nationally and internationally. The number of employees has therefore increased year on year by 600 (2016/2017: around 3,400). This sharp increase is principally the result of the expansion of the international offices. Per capita sales were just under EUR 104,000 (2016/2017: EUR 114,000). In the past financial year, international sales amounted to EUR 91 million – up almost 10 per cent on 2016/2017's EUR 83 million.
Florian Haller, CEO of the Serviceplan Group commented: "One of the Serviceplan Group's most exciting and most important business years has now come to an end – and a very successful one at that. We are now represented in all of the world's most important markets: Europe, Asia and North America. With the opening in New York where we have introduced our unique "House of Communication" concept, we have made an important step into the US market. I am also particularly proud of our first entry in the Ad Age Agency Report Global rankings, where we achieved 22nd place in our very first year.”
In addition to the German sites in Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne, company locations with Houses of Communication have now been established in Vienna, Zurich, Milan, Brussels, Dubai, Paris, Lyon, Moscow and Madrid, along with branches in locations such as Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. The goal is to develop all branches into Houses of Communication, which bring all communication disciplines together in one place.
House of Communication New York
In May 2018, the Serviceplan Group had two great reasons to celebrate. It entered the US advertising industry's Ad Age rankings for the first time, alongside mega networks and management consultancies advancing on the market. What's more, with its successful internationalisation strategy, it made it to 22nd place in the global sales rankings of the US advertising industry's Advertising Age (Ad Age), with annual sales of USD 602 million in the 2017 financial year.
At the same time, on 1st May the House of Communication opened in the centre of New York at 102 Madison Avenue. The three familiar pillars of the Serviceplan agency group will be represented here under one roof: Serviceplan, MODCo/Mediaplus and the digital agency T3. Serviceplan New York currently consists of 65 staff and is managed jointly by Stefan Schütte, Nick Johnson, Jay Benjamin and Nick Chapman, while MODCo/Mediaplus is led by Erik Dochtermann and Eileidh Bamford. The digital agency T3 is a partner agency run by Ben Gaddis.
New York currently consists of 65 staff and is managed jointly by Stefan Schütte, Nick Johnson, Jay Benjamin and Nick Chapman, while MODCo/Mediaplus is led by Erik Dochtermann and Eileidh Bamford. The digital agency T3 is a partner agency run by Ben Gaddis.
All Pillars of the Serviceplan Group remain on a growth trajectory
All divisions within the agency group recorded significant growth rates and have maintained their sales levels in a difficult market environment. The strongest pillar in the past financial year was the agency group for digital communication under the Plan.Net brand. It contributed EUR 103 million, or 25 per cent, of the Group's total sales.
The media agency managed under the Mediaplus brand, which contributed around 23 per cent of the Group's total sales, increased its sales by 6.8 per cent to EUR 94 million (2016/2017: 88 million with the same revenue share). This includes the results of the Facit Group. With numerous awards, the Mediaplus Group has continued to impress not only in Germany, but as the top-ranking media agency in Germany in the international RECMA rankings.
Saint Elmo’s posted sales of EUR 19 million this year, thereby contributing around 5 per cent of the Group’s total sales growth of 58.3 per cent (2016/17: 12 million; 3.1 per cent).
The Serviceplan brand also maintained a high level of growth in the past financial year and generated agency fees of EUR 92 million, corresponding to a share of 22.2 per cent (2016/2017: 92 million; 23.7 per cent). A large customer loss in the past financial year could be successfully compensated for here.
In the past financial year Serviceplan Solutions generated agency fees of EUR 12 million. This result corresponds to a growth of 9 per cent year on year. In addition to brands Serviceplan, Plan.Net, Mediaplus and Facit, in spring 2016 the Serviceplan Group established "Solutions" as its fifth pillar. Last but not least, the significance and weight of the business area are expressed in this, as the transcreation, adaption and versification of communication are experiencing ever-increasing demand.
The Serviceplan Consulting Group, which was founded in spring 2016 and is still in its start-up phase, has been very well received by its customers and is moving towards 5 million in sales.
To a large extent, the successful growth of the Group is the result of the expansion of existing customer business, as well as gaining more than 400 new German and international customers and accounts. The following brands were won or won back in Germany: Becks, BSH, Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, Clever fit, Nürnberger Versicherung, Dr. Beckmann, Telekom T-Systems, MAN, Almdudler, BMW Aftersales and KraussMaffei. The most significant customers that have been gained in international locations are Tencent (China), Auchan (France), Ferrero (Italy) and Netflix (Spain).
With a 21.9 per cent share of overall sales and revenue of 91 million (2016/2017: 83 million; 21.4 per cent) the locations outside of Germany therefore made a substantial and steadily increasing contribution to total sales in the past financial year.