DOHA—Grayling has expanded its Middle East operations with the opening of a new office in Doha, with a team of 20 consultants under the leadership of director Tamara Bullock providing public relations, corporate communications and public affairs services to local and international government and private sector organizations.

The announcement came as parent company Huntsworth issued an interim management statement highlighting strong performance in the region.

According to Lord Peter Chadlington, global CEO of Huntsworth, “Not only is Qatar the richest economy in the world, it is also one of the fastest growing. We are seeing international brands investing heavily in the region as well as home grown organizations finding a global voice. This makes it one of the most strategically important markets for us.”

Grayling’s key clients in the region include Qatar Foundation, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, BAE Systems and, in collaboration with their sister company Citigate Dewe Rogerson, supports communications outreach of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

Separately, Chadlington said that Grayling had achieved 3.8 percent revenue growth in the first quarter driven by digital revenues as well as strong performance in the Middle East.

Among the group’s other holdings, Huntsworth Health achieved 3.3 percent like-for-like revenue growth; Red grew by 19.4 percent helped by client wins including Boots, Adobe, Symantec and Gatwick Airport; but Citigate declined by 2.7 percent as financial markets remained “subdued.”

“As the uncertain economic outlook—particularly in Europe—continues, management is keeping tight control of costs and therefore, even with modest full year revenue growth, expects improvement in operating margins and profitability for the first half and for the year as a whole,” Chadlington said. “The Huntsworth group's financial position remains robust and the group is trading in line with management’s revenue and profit expectations.”