Mice Group, the Midlandbased conferences and exhibitions company, has posted flat underlying profits for the year to February 28 as a 27 per cent rise in turnover was offset by increased investment and tighter margins.
Pretax profits before exceptionals edged up to £8 million from £7.9 million a year earlier as turnover jumped to £ 190 million from £150.2 million.
At the operating level, profits were up 11.5 per cent at £11.3 million. The company is paying a final dividend of 0.25 pence a share, bringing the payout for the year to 0.75 pence. Looking ahead, the Nuneaton-based group said its £94 million order book was currently 17 per cent higher than this time last year.
Chief executive Brian Shepherd said: "Mice has now reached critical mass with sales last year of £190 million.
"With all of our divisions now profitable, with a global offering, and a significant blue chip client base, the strengthened board is focused on generating positive cash-flow and profitability for the company going forward."
However, he said that Mice was not planning any acquisitions in the short term and would instead concentrate on increasing its revenue and profit streams. The group's international division posted operating profits of £ 6.3 million on sales of £77.4 million, while the UK operations made £6 million profits on sales of £93 million.
In North America profits were £1.3 million on sales of £41.3 million.
Mr Shepherd added: "This will see the business consolidating its current position as a top 20 global supplier of integrated marketing services and provide the platform for improving margins, positive operating cash flow and controlled organic growth in the medium term."
Separately, Mice Group announced the appointment of Geoff Howard-Spink, founder of the Lowe Howard-Spink advertising agency, as its new chairman, replacing Michael Curley, who is retiring.
Mr Shepherd said: "I would like to record our thanks and deep appreciation for the achievements of our chairman, Michael Curley, on his retirement after 45 years in the business.
"We take this opportunity to commend him for his passion and determination to deliver outstanding results, and pay tribute to his vision in building a highly successful, internationally networked group of companies."
Speaking about his successor, Mr Curley said: "Geoff is renowned for his past success in the advertising industry and I am sure that his expertise will prove of great value to the group."
Mice's shares closed at 351/4p up 13/4p.