The SERVICEPLAN Group closed the 2016/2017 financial year with an increase in sales of 14 per cent and generated agency fees of EUR 388 million. Europe’s largest independent communications agency was thus well above the industry average this year.
Munich, July 27th 2017 —The SERVICEPLAN Group, Europe’s largest owner-managed communications agency, has closed a successful financial year in 2016/2017 too. Following today’s publication of its preliminary figures for the 46th financial year, which ran from July 1st 2016 to June 30th 2017, the Group was almost three times as successful as the bulk of German advertising and communications agencies, who had looked to the future in this year’s GWA Spring Monitor with an increase in sales of 3.75 per cent. The SERVICEPLAN Group’s balance sheet shows growth of 14 per cent. The Group recorded gross income (fees and commission) of EUR 388 million (2015/2016: EUR 340 million). Staffing levels were also further strengthened over the past financial year: the agency currently has a workforce of around 3,400 employees nationally and internationally. The number of employees has therefore increased year on year by 300 (2015/2016: just under 3,100). The sharp increase is principally the result of the expansion of the international offices. Per capita sales were just under EUR 114,000 (2015/2016: EUR 111,000). In the past financial year, international sales amounted to EUR 83 million – up 7.8 per cent on the previous year’s EUR 77 million in 2015/2016.
Florian Haller, CEO of the SERVICEPLAN Group, adds: “The SERVICEPLAN Group made extraordinary strides again in the past financial year – both in terms of growth and also performance. We were able to establish Houses of Communication at a number of international locations and now also have a presence on the ground in Poland. We continue to be represented in top positions in the area of creation and the topic of consulting has successfully developed into a successful and important product even after the first financial year. The Plan.Net Group celebrated its 20th anniversary and we can address the needs of our customers around the globe with innovative products in areas such as business intelligence, content, programmatic and personalisation.”
All divisions within the agency group recorded significant growth rates. The strongest pillar in the past financial year was the agency group for digital communication under the Plan.Net brand. It contributed EUR 98 million, or 25.3 per cent, of the Group’s total sales (2015/2016: 89 million; 26.2 per cent).
The media agency managed under the Mediaplus brand, which contributed 22.7 per cent of the Group’s total sales, increased its sales by 14.3 per cent to EUR 88 million (2015/2016: 77 million; 22.6 per cent). This includes the results of the Facit Group.
Saint Elmo’s posted sales of EUR 12 million this year, thereby contributing 3.1 per cent of the Group’s total sales growth of 9.1 per cent (2015/16: 11 million; 3.2 per cent).
WEFRA Mediaplus – the joint venture is a subsidiary of WEFRA Media GmbH and the Mediaplus Group – more than doubled in the Nielsen billings in the past financial year at more than EUR 110 million.
The SERVICEPLAN brand also grew again in the past financial year and generated agency fees of EUR 92 million – this corresponds to a share of 23.7 per cent (2015/2016: 76 million; 22.4 per cent).
SERVICEPLAN Solutions – the holding established in 2012 to bring together all of the Group’s realisation services – recorded a result of EUR 11 million in the past financial year and thus accounts for 2.8 per cent of total sales. This result corresponds to a growth of 22.2 per cent year on year (9 million; 2.6 per cent).
The SERVICEPLAN Consulting Group, which was founded in spring 2016, is shown for the first time in this year’s balance sheet. Generating agency fees of four million, it contributed one per cent of total sales.
The impressive growth of the Group was due largely to the expansion of existing client business and to the acquisition of over 250 new clients and accounts nationally and just under 150 new clients and accounts internationally. The following accounts were won or won back in Germany: AOK Bayern, Capri-Sun, Deutsche Bahn Regio, Deutsche Lufthansa, DZ Bank, Lornamed, Motorola as well as Tee Gschwendner. The most important clients acquired at international locations were Develey (Poland), Teatro alla Scala (Italy), Hipp (Russia) as well as Vlam (Belgium and India).
With a 21.4 per cent share of overall sales and revenue of 83 million (2015/2016: 77 million; 22.6 %) the offices abroad therefore made a substantial and steadily increasing contribution to total sales in the past financial year.
The SERVICEPLAN Group celebrated the most top positions among relevant rankings in Germany in the past financial year, and thus recorded the greatest success in its agency history with a total number of six top positions.
The SERVICEPLAN Group occupied top spot both with Horizont and Red Box in the 2016 creative rankings. SERVICEPLAN can attribute its success in both rankings especially to the campaigns “Dot. The first Braille Smartwatch”, “The Les Paul Skill Check” and “Sky Sqreening”.
The SERVICEPLAN Group likewise came out on top in the special efficiency rating of the industry publication Werben & Verkaufen (W&V) – for the second time in a row.
Digitally the Group was also successful again: Plan.Net together with SERVICEPLAN was voted most successful agency for the third time in a row in February 2017 in the digital creative rankings published by the German Federal Association of Digital Commerce (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft – BDW).
When the most prestigious award of the German media industry was awarded for the 19th time – the German Media Awards – the Mediaplus Group was likewise able to scoop top spot. The media experts from the SERVICEPLAN Group therefore made the winners’ podium three times and thus won the most awards in spring 2017.
SERVICEPLAN also won a total of six awards in the past year in the Clio Health Awards and thus received the distinction of “Agency of the Year”.
A place on the winners’ podium was also secured in the area of design, with the SERVICEPLAN Group scooping twelve Red Dots and five Red Dot: Best of the Best awards. Europe’s largest owner-managed group of agencies was also delighted to receive the accolade of Red Dot: Agency of the Year 2016.
Employees take centre stage for the SERVICEPLAN Group, as seen from the many development and further training initiatives and programmes that were launched in the past financial year. Special “Campus” programmes for management training were thus approved, for example, under the leadership of Winfried Bergmann, Head of Human Resources, as well as a new e-learning programme that can also be rolled out internationally, and individual development plans for high performers.
Moreover, the SERVICEPLAN Group launched the Communication Club in 2016 – an alumni programme for all former permanent employees of the SERVICEPLAN Group. Following a successful launch event with more than 120 former employees in 2016, the second round got under way in spring 2017.
Florian Haller on the growth of the Group in the coming financial year: “Our most important goal is to also make the SERVICEPLAN brand known internationally. Moreover, we want to expand the existing locations and focus on successfully establishing the ‘House of Communication’ concept at existing locations.”