DIA seeks to establish US stronghold

Design in Action is seeking to establish a presence in the US, off the back of bullish interims from parent company Lopex. Half-year results from the group show a 31 per cent surge in pre-tax profit to 1.5m from 1.2m for the same period last year.

In the six months to June, Lopex reported a net cash surplus of 1.6m, compared to net borrowings of 2.4m at the same time last year. Group chairman Lord Marsh says while the group is smaller with five brands, “it is better focused”. He adds that DIA has “produced profits ahead of 1995”, but will not divulge figures.

According to DIA managing director Barry Salter, the consultancy’s corporate communications arm is performing “well above target”, while the rest of DIA’s offer is performing to target. The group’s Singapore office, headed by DIA director Nigel Smith, is performing “beyond expectations”, adds Salter.

“We are talking to US groups with a view to working together formally, and in the fullness of time, buying a presence on the East Coast, as part of overall plans to have a presence in Europe, the Far East and the US,” says Salter. Lopex chief executive Peter Thomas adds design is a key group asset and an area for investment.

Lopex shares stood at 19p as Design Week went to press.

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