By Kristy Dorsey

Business strategy specialist Genoa Black is launching a new management consultancy arm after announcing a double-digit increase in turnover and profits in its latest financial year.

The firm said it secured 25 new clients during the 12 months to July 2020 from sectors such as the energy, food and drink, life sciences and manufacturing industries. This led to a 24 per cent increase in revenues, with profits 26% higher at a record £423,000.

The new management consultancy business, known as Genoa Strategy, will be led by Gaynor Duthie who was appointed managing partner last year. She heads up the business alongside Genoa Black co-founders Claire and Alan Kinloch.

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Ms Duthie said the creation of Genoa Strategy, based from a new office in Edinburgh’s George Street, is a “natural next step for the business” whose core focus is on providing strategic brand and marketing services.

“Since Genoa Black launched in 2013, we have developed a reputation for our advice being underpinned by research and not just opinion,” she said. “The more complex a business and its markets is, the more important it becomes to deliver advice that we know will be impactful.

“Genoa Strategy has been established to deliver management consultancy advice to complex SMEs and corporates, targeting companies who place a value on growth. We have thrived in the current environment due to the client relationships, our people, our culture and the quality of advice we give.”

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Having previously worked abroad with Scottish social enterprise Orkidstudio, now known as BuildX Studio, Ms Duthie initially joined Genoa Black three months after its launch in April 2013. She became an equity holder in the business the following year.

The creation of the new division is expected to increase group headcount from 14 to 27 people. Team members will provide advice on areas such as growth planning, business intelligence, sales strategy, leadership, governance and digitalisation.

Mr Kinloch said: “The core principle of the advice we give is to de-risk decision-making, and the combination of Covid and Brexit has generated plenty of risk for companies.

“The advice we have given our clients and their reaction to it highlighted a dearth of expertise available, particularly in complex businesses. We acted on this and developed this new division within Genoa Black to meet this need.”

Rob Potter, director of client strategy, added: “Strengthening our team in the current climate will help clients leverage the growth opportunities available to them as the economy begins its slow recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses must realise now is the time to act.”