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Chime to Gain From Arab Political Unrest, Chairman Tim Bell Says

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Chime Communications Plc, a U.K.- based public-relations company chaired by Margaret Thatcher’s former media adviser Tim Bell, expects to benefit from the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

Chime, based in London, is doing work for the National Transitional Council in Libya, Bell said in an interview today. The company also retained its contract with the Bahrain government and did three months work for the Yemen government in the first half of the year.

“I see this as a significant area of growth,” Bell said. “But I don’t know when, it will take time. As countries rebuild, people will start to invest money.”

As well as increasing its work in the Arab world, Chime is expanding sports marketing. Sport should account for about 60 percent of the company’s business in two years, up from almost a quarter now, Bell said

“People are spending more and more on sport because they are having such a rotten time generally,” Bell said. “It is becoming the thing you do when you are gloomy.”

Chime will do well from the London Olympics next year, Bell said. The company bought 60 percent of Golden Goal Sports Venues in Brazil in May. Brazil is hosting the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

First-half profit rose 28 percent to 8.3 million pounds ($13.7 million), or 12.7 pence a share, from 6.5 million pounds, or 11.6 pence, a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Revenue increased 13 percent to 153.4 million pounds from 135.8 million pounds.

The shares rose as much as 4.3 percent in London trading and were up 2.25 pence, or 1.1 percent, to 214.25 pence at 10:36 a.m., paring this year’s decline to 4.8 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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