Based in Bournemouth, Ceuta Healthcare acts as a sales and marketing organisation for big companies in Britain’s healthcare market, including Glaxo Wellcome and Procter & Gamble. It was set up in 1994 by Edwin Bessant and Annette D’Abreo when Bessant saw an opportunity for a company to represent overseas businesses in Britain. Start-up finance comprised £80,000 from the founders and a £100,000 loan from the Department of Trade and Industry. The company has expanded its services to include the negotiation of licensing agreements. After the acquisition of an American company, Thompson Medical, in June, it also produces its own brand of healthcare products. Ceuta’s sales are growing at 76% a year, from £575,000 in 1996 to £3.1m in 1999. Bessant says growth is strong because Ceuta is the sole player in its niche market, employs highly skilled staff and maintains close relationships with clients.
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