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Cello sees threefold profit rise as debts slashed

CELLO Group has reported a trebling of annual profits and indicated it has continued to win business in the early months of this year.

The marketing consultancy, which employs 178 people in Scotland through firms such as The Leith Agency, Blonde Digital and Stripe Communications, saw revenue rise more than 18% from £135.1 million to £159.7m in 2013.

That helped pre-tax profits to grow from £1.4m to £5.5m while AIM-listed Cello also upped its dividend by 12.5% from 2p to 2.25p.

Its net debt was also reduced by more than 59% from £8.7m to £3.6m.

The company said it was rebranding its consumer division, which includes the Scottish businesses and mainly focuses on consumer facing customers, to Cello Signal.

The Cello Health arm, which works on behalf of pharmaceutical and healthcare client, is, however, not changing.

In 2013 Cello Signal was said to have won work from Aegon, Baillie Gifford and the Scottish Government.

The company also highlighted that Blonde Digital was involved in developing the ticketing website for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Mark Scott, Cello Group chief executive, said: "Both Cello Health and Cello Signal have very clear, focused growth strategies, underpinned by robust management structures.

"We are confident that both businesses will continue on their growth paths and deliver a successful 2014 performance for the Group as a whole."

Cello added: "The group started the new year with continued good booking momentum, and a solid new business pipeline, providing good visibility for the first half of the year."

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