Cello Group, the acquisitive UK marketing services group, has recorded a pre-tax profit of £5.9m for 2006, up 40 per cent from the previous year.
The group’s turnover has risen 43 per cent to £74.7m from £52.1m, while net debt is down from £1.9m to £1.1.m.
According to the results, the growth comes despite relatively little acquisition activity by the group.
However, the increase was supplemented by the purchase last September of Blonde Digital, the Edinburgh consultancy set up by former Navy Blue Design Group’s head of digital media Pete Burns. In addition, the acquisitions of digital start-up Oomph and consulting group SMT at the end of last year boosted profits.
Cello Response, the group’s digital, direct marketing and data division, with responsibility for Oomph and Blonde, delivered a headline operating profit of £1.8m, up from £1.5m.
The market research arm of the business Cello Planning and Research reported operating profit of £3.5m, up from £2m in 2005, while its consulting brand Cello Consulting delivered operating profit of £2m, up from £1.6m. This includes the contribution of £0.2m from SMT.
Cello says it has also excelled because of its primary focus on driving organic growth, including the opening of further international offices and the starting up of several new businesses.
At the end of January, Cello announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in both Rosenblatt and Digital People Online, in an attempt to strengthen consumer research and on-line research.
The group aims to continue to push its digital and on-line capabilities in both research and response in 2007.