Communisis extends mutual ties with Yorkshire BS link-up

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PRINT and marketing group Communisis has won a three-year contract with Yorkshire Building Society to produce all of the lender’s direct mail.

Communisis will also manage the Yorkshire’s point of sale branch material and provide access to a marketing technology platform for future campaigns.

Communisis, which has its registered office in Leeds, said the new contract will strengthen its presence in the mutual sector where it now works for all of the top ten UK building societies.

The group also announced a three-year contract with Thames Water to produce a clearer bill which is being produced on the HP T400 high-speed colour digital platform at the group’s transactional centre of excellence in Liverpool.

Communisis claims to be at the forefront of high-speed colour digital technology following the installation of state-of-the-art printers in Leeds and Liverpool.

In Leeds the printers are playing a major role in Communisis’ direct mail operations. Two HP T300 lines were installed in the Leeds facility during 2010 and 2011.

The banking crisis and an increase in regulation to prevent further bank scandals is changing the way financial products are sold to customers.

This is playing to Communisis’ strengths as direct mail shots become more personalised.

In addition, anger about the rising costs of gas, electricity and water means that utility customers are demanding a more honest conversation with their providers.

Communisis said that this means the message has to be very clear. Communisis’ chief executive Andy Blundell said: “Winning these contracts proves that our proposition stands out in the market and is attractive both to new and existing clients.

“We are delighted to be working with these companies as their trusted partner.”

He was speaking yesterday as the group announced improved annual profits for the third year running.

Pre-tax profits rose 62 per cent to £6.8m in the year to December 31. Turnover rose from £25m to £30m.

Before exceptional items, profit from operations grew 23 per cent to £11.6m.

Exceptional items of £2.8m followed the group’s restructuring programme and non-recurring costs following acquisitions that were made last year.

The group won a number of big new contracts last year including work with Nationwide Building Society, BT and an extended contract with a financial services client.

It made three niche acquisitions in the growth areas of online communication, social media and specialist content manage- ment.

“In 2012 we have successfully grown the business and substantially improved operating profitability for the third consecutive year,” said Mr Blundell

“We are established as the trusted partner of many leading, consumer-facing brands.”

Last month the group raised £20m through a placing to cut debt and fund growth.

The group said that the placing of 50 million new shares at 40p each raised £18.9m after expenses. The money will be used to cut net debt of £21m, fund new contracts, “optimise” its cost base and make niche acquisitions.

Communisis said the funds will also help with its cost-cutting plans.

It has set aside £11.5m of the placing for deals and working capital.

The group has set itself the target of deriving 20 per cent of its revenues from overseas sources whilst continuing to grow UK sales.

Communisis employs around 400 people at its direct mail facility in Cross Gates, Leeds.