The company has two arms: Health, which provides expertise, processes, intellectual property and market knowledge spanning the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, healthcare equipment and consumer health sectors.
And Signal, which provides “digital, social media and branding expertise” to companies. This division used to be focused sectors such as technology and retail, but it has taken a much greater interest in health of late.
Cello’s claim to fame is that it works with 24 of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies around the world.
Operating profits in the Health business climbed 16.1%, while they edged 3.9% higher in the Signal division, driven by improved margins.
Overall, group revenue was broadly flat at £78.5mln in the six months ended June 30, while pre-tax profits jumped 9.3% to £5.1mln (H1 17: £4.6mln).
Cello has been expanding across the pond over the past year or so and the US now accounts for almost half of its profit. The US businesses it acquired last year as part of this drive continue to perform well, the company said.
Given the strong bottom-line performance, Cello has raised its dividend by 5% to 1.1op (H1 17: 1.05p).
Chairman stepping down
“Cello Health is successfully building its early stage asset development advisory platform for biotech clients, as well as growing its core later stage and post-launch franchise with pharmaceutical clients,” said chief executive Mark Scott.
“The depth and breadth of client relationships held by Cello Health under Master Service Agreements (MSAs) is impressive, underpinning revenue visibility.
“The leadership team is actively engaged with increasing the size of the global service platform, including Signal's communications capabilities. Signal, and particularly Pulsar, is rapidly building its healthcare franchise.
“The vision of developing Cello Health into a leading global advisor to healthcare and related clients is taking shape.”
Within the announcement, long-term chairman Allan Rich announced he is to retire from the board of directors. He will be replaced by current non-executive Chris Jones.
Shares were up 1.5% to 135p shortly before market close in London.
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