Technology-focussed marketing communications and advertising company The Mission Marketing Group issued a trading update for the year to 31 December on Thursday, reporting that 2017 had been "another year" of growth, with results for the year expected to be in line with market expectations.
The AIM-traded company said it expected revenue to be 6% ahead of the prior year, reflecting like-for-like growth of almost 4% and the first contribution from its 2017 acquisition, RJW & Partners.
Headline profit before tax was expected to be 10% higher, at £7.7m, representing the seventh consecutive year of growth.
"2017 was an exceptional year for working capital reductions and the year ended with a net bank debt position below £7.5m, materially better than market expectations," the board said in its statement.
"The ratio of net bank debt to EBITDA has accordingly reduced below x1.0, thereby triggering a 0.5% reduction in interest rates on the group's debt facilities from this month."
Last year, the company announced its ambition to improve its headline operating profit margins from 11.5% to 14% by March 2020.
One of the initiatives the board had identified to help it achieve that was increased centralisation of a number of back-office functions and, to oversee it and identify further cost saving opportunities, it has now appointed Giles Lee - currently an executive director and chairman of Bray Leino - as its commercial director.
Separately, non-executive director Christopher Morris had advised the company of his intention to retire from the board during 2018.
The board said Morris had agreed to stay on, including fulfilling his duties as chairman of the remuneration committee and member of the audit committee, until a successor is appointed.
"Despite some ongoing market challenges, our group performed strongly in 2017," said chairman David Morgan.
"Our increased use of proprietary technology-enabled systems has strengthened the depth and breadth of service that we bring to our clients and has added significant value to what we do for them.
"Alongside our drive to identify operating efficiencies, embracing technology will improve our margins and continue to fuel our core growth through 2018."
Morgan said he could not thank Chris Morris enough for his "unstinting support" and contribution over a number of years, and especially in steering it through the major restructure in 2010 that had provided the platform from which the group was now "prospering".
"I am also delighted to say that, while retiring from the board, Chris has agreed to take on some ongoing consultancy work for the group as well as continuing to mentor key people and chair our PR agency."
The company said it expected to announce its preliminary results on 10 April.