Cordiant profit climbs 66%; deflects report of TN merger

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Cordiant Communications Group, London, said first-half pretax profit rose 66% over a year ago to $27.9 million on 34% higher revenue of $327.5 million. Cordiant, mentioned by the media the week of Aug. 14 as an acquisition target of True North Communications, also recorded net new billings of more than $300 million for the period. Asked to respond to the reports linking Cordiant with Chicago-based True North, Cordiant Chief Executive Michael Bungey said today during the interim results presentation: "I think there are many more companies than True North that are interested in us." He went on to say, "Yes, we have talked with True North without a doubt. We are not in any transactional discussions." Mr. Bungey told Advertising Age: "I think we are now better placed than ever to participate in the obvious continued consolidation in our industry, and essentially we are always on the lookout for ways to enhance our shareholder return. We are a different company now--when we started we had a market capital of $340 million. When we complete [the proposed acquisition of Lighthouse, a U.S.-based international network of specialist communications and marketing services operations], we will be somewhere close to $2 billion."

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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