Last year, AIM listed media and marketing specialist Ebiquity (LON:EBQ) pulled off an acquisition that not only doubled its revenues but also transformed the services that it was able to offer advertisers, ad agencies and media owners. For chief executive Michael Greenlees – a renowned advertising industry figure who cancelled early retirement to join Ebiquity in 2007 – the company’s recent rapid growth is just the start.

Greenlees took the helm at Ebiquity – then known as Thomson Intermedia – after a career that saw him set-up, float and later sell his own agency, Gold Greenlees Trott, to American giant Omnicom. He went on to lead that group’s TBWA Worldwide division before joining Omnicom’s executive board in 2001. Since joining Ebiquity, Greenlees has taken the group’s core expertise in advising corporates on the effectiveness of their marketing spend and constructed an international operation that offers a range of data-driven services all related to understanding media and marketing.

A major part of what Ebiquity does involves advising clients on how much ‘bang for their buck’ they get from advertising, how they are perceived by consumers and, importantly, how to improve. It boasts 1,000 clients in 60 international markets, including 85 of the top 100 global advertisers and all the major advertising agency groups. Its business is broadly divided between Platform and Analytics. The Analytics division consists of Ebiquity’s Media, Effectiveness and Digital practices and the Platform division consists of its Advertising Intelligence, Reputation & PR and Media Technology practices.

While the economic downturn caused a lot of pain for Ebiquity’s clients, the company’s core divisions performed admirably. However, it was the £17.9 million acquisition of Xtreme Information Services in March 2010 that really quickened the pace at Ebiquity last year. That deal caused the balance of revenues to swing to 71% in favour of international business, up from 38% the previous year. It also evened out the revenues between the two divisions. Xtreme’s integration into Platform caused the revenue contribution to increase from 28% to 59% from that division. Overall, revenues in 2010 jumped by 108% to £44.1 million, underlying operating profits doubled to £5.3 million and underlying pre-tax profits rose by 90% to £4.8 million. In the 16 months since the acquisition, shares in Ebiquity have risen from 56p to 93p.

In the mean time, Greenlees has been keen…

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