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Cello Health rises as it remains confident for first half performance despite pandemic disruption

In an AGM statement, Cello said it had a “good first quarter, with solid overall growth in net revenue”

Cello Health PLC - Cello Health rises as it remains confident for first half performance despite pandemic disruption

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) shares rose on Wednesday as the healthcare advisory firm said it was “confident about performance” for its first half despite disruption from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to be delivered at its annual general meeting later today, AIM-listed Cello said it had a “good first quarter, with solid overall growth in net revenue”, adding that it Cello Health division has delivered overall net revenue and profit growth in the period alongside “good like-for-like growth”.

WATCH: Cello Health PLC running 'remarkably well' since going completely virtual

The company also said overall bookings visibility and its new project win rate has been maintained, with the performance of the US arm of the business “particularly robust”.

Meanwhile, Cello said its Connect business had performed well in its first quarter of inclusion in the group’s health segment, adding that the division was currently supporting “a number of clients with [coronavirus] related UK and European public health campaigns as well as with US regulatory approvals and FDA filings”.

"Considering the disrupted circumstances in which the group is operating, the board is confident about performance for the second quarter for the Cello Health division, and therefore for the first half of 2020”, the company said.

Looking forward, Cello said it Signal business, which comprised around 16% of net revenues for the first quarter, was likely to see its performance impacted by “more significant [coronavirus] related work delays and cancellations than the Health division” and that action had been taken to reduce costs including salary reductions and furloughing.

Despite this, Cello said it remains in a “solid net cash position” and that cash generation in the current year has been good.

"Despite the serious impact of [coronavirus] on the general business environment, the board is pleased with the overall progress made so far by the group in maintaining revenue streams and with the effectiveness of cost control measures. More detailed information will be included in our half year trading update in mid-July," the company added.

In a note to clients, analysts at Cello’s 'house' broker finnCap said they believed the company “will get back to normal trading quickly when markets allow”.

The broker added that the company looked “attractive: particularly so in a market where private equity has been very active and the obvious renewed focus on health services generally”.

Shares in Cello rose 4.8% to 120p in early deals.

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