NEWS14 September 2010

Cello opens in Manhattan to drive US growth

Financials UK

UK— Research and consulting group Cello has opened an office in Manhattan to fight for a bigger share of global projects and US research spend after seeing strong growth in profitability from international client work.

Simon Dannatt (pictured), the former CEO of Optimisa and KAE:Marketing Intelligence, and current MD for Cello Group company The Value Engineers in North America, will lead the Stateside push as MD of Cello USA.

Cello says the Manhattan offices will act as a hub for US activities but “in due course” it plans to expand beyond New York.

The group today reported first-half revenue up 10% to £61.5m. Research and consulting turnover was up 9% to £32m while the direct communications business Tangible was up 13% to £29.5m.

Research operating income increased 7.5% to £18.9m while headline operating profit climbed 40% to £3.4m. Despite the otherwise good results, Cello noted that public sector income has been “notably weaker” in the period as a result of budgetary uncertainty stemming from the UK government’s plans to reduce spending.

“Given the likely long-term nature of this decline the group has decided to reduce materially its exposure to this historically stable, but low margin area,” said Cello.

Public sector work within the group is handled predominantly by MRUK and RS Consulting, and Cello says it expects to incur charges of around £700,000 in the second half of this year relating to property costs and redundancies.