Huntsworth CEO
Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington

Huntsworth shares fell shaprly Tuesday after the global public relations and healthcare communications group reported a steep drop in full year profits and proposed an unchanged dividend payment from last year.

Profit before tax was at £19.1m for the full year, the group said Tuesday, compared to £26.7m in 2010. Revenues rose slightly, by 1.5 percent, to £176.3m. Global and multi-office revenues, which now represents nearly half of group revenue, posted like-for-like growth of 9.9 percent.

Shares in the group, which include the well-know financial PR brand Citigate, fell 4.88 percent to 49.25p per share in early London trading.

"Management has taken action to reduce the cost base across the group as well as make it more flexible and better able to match clients' requirements and spending patterns," said CEO Peter Chadlington. "The group's revenue and profit profile is expected to be delivered more evenly over each quarter of the year than historically has been the case."

The board proposed a final dividend of 2.50p per share, bringing the total payment to 3.50p per share for the full year, unchanged from 2010.

Huntsworth's new business pipeline is strong and it expects the improvement in profitability to be maintained both in the first half of 2012 and for the year as a whole. The group anticipates like-for-like revenue growth of 3 percent in the first quarter with about one quarter of 2012 budgeted profits to be earned in the first quarter a significantly higher proportion than in previous years.