Avanti losses up following restructure

LONDON - Avanti Screenmedia Group, the digital media screen specialist, posted increased losses of £2.5m in the second half of 2007, as the company pushed through a restructure.

Revenues fell to £2.6m in the second half of 2007, down from £3.3m in the same period in 2006. Pre-tax losses nearly doubled, year-on-year, to £2.5m, Avanti said.

Chairman Mick Desmond, a former head of broadcasting at ITV,  said Avanti's financial performance reflected a significant shift in the company's performance, resulting in a "much-improved business base" in challenging market conditions.

Following the appointment of chief executive Simon Rees in June last year, Avanti has pursued a new strategy, led by a shift in resource to frontline sales, setting up local advertising teams, as well as renegotiating existing contracts.

In the first six months of the 2007/08 financial year, Avanti secured a further three-year contract with shopping centre operator The Mall Corporation until 2011, new five-year contracts with Land Securities and a further two-year contract with Tates Limited.

Avanti also picked up several pieces of new business, including contracts for the Bluewater shopping centre and Inventive Leisure.

Desmond said he was confident the strategy would deliver medium to long-term growth. The company's short-term prospects, however, depended on general economic conditions and securing sufficient capital, he added.

In April 2007, Avanti Screenmedia demerged from Avanti Communications.

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