Cello upbeat on solid 2009

Cello, the marketing services group that owns the Leith Agency and Farm Communications, has reported income up 17.2% last year and says that is has made a “solid” start to 2009.

The group says operating income hit £66.6m last year, up from £56.8m in 2007.

However, on a like-for-like basis, the marketing services firm did register slower income growth last year, 2% compared with 16.1% a year earlier.

Despite slowing growth, group chief executive Mark Scott says its focus on the “defensive” sub-sectors of research and direct marketing will help it through “an increasingly challenging economic backdrop”.

He adds the group “has made a good solid start to the year”.

“Furthermore, our relatively low exposure to cyclical sectors should benefit us as we continue to invest in expanding our core capabilities to gain market share”, he says.

Last November, Farm won the £25m advertising account for Confused.com to become the company’s first retained advertising agency two months after pensions giant Aegon appointed Leith to handle its advertising business.

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