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Ad group M&C Saatchi lifts profit outlook, says FCA probe dropped

·1-min read
The M&C Saatchi office in central London

LONDON (Reuters) -British advertising group M&C Saatchi raised its 2021 profit outlook on Friday and said an official accounting investigation had closed without any action being taken, in a boost to a firm being circled by its largest investor.

One of the biggest names in British advertising said a strong end to the year and continued major client wins would also enable it to settle put option liabilities when they fall this year, and resume the payment of dividends.

"These results demonstrate the success of the strategy outlined at the Capital Markets Day in January 2021 - connecting specialist expertise; further embedding digital, data and tech to fuel growth; and driving efficiencies through simplification," it said.

M&C is in the process of fending off an all-share takeover approach from its biggest investor, the software entrepreneur Vin Murria, a defence that has been made more difficult by a 2019 accounting scandal that led to the departure of several senior executives.

It said on Friday that the Financial Conduct Authority had closed its investigation into M&C and that no enforcement action would be taken.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton)

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