Next Fifteen launches mobile agency Animo as it releases annual results

Next Fifteen is launching a PR and marketing agency called Animo, which aims to help businesses engage customers through mobile technology.

Hugo Brailsford: Animo MD

The agency, which launches today, is headed up by Hugo Brailsford, who was previously head of mobile and telecoms for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Weber Shandwick.

The agency launch comes as Next Fifteen announces its preliminary results for the year ended 31 July 2011. Like-for-like revenues increased by 11% to £86m (2010: £72.3m) and profit before tax increased by 42% to £7.5m (2010: £5.3m).

Animo will sit in the Next Fifteen family alongside agencies including Bite Communications and Text100.

Brailsford takes the role of MD and is tasked with building a team out of the Text100 offices in Hammersmith.

He told PRWeek: ‘The company is all about mobile engagement on both a PR and marketing level.

‘We are going to help businesses and brands connect and interact with consumers through mobile technology.

‘The growth and potential in the mobile technology sector is phenomenal at the moment and we want to help people get the most out of it.’

Animo aims to offer clients a service that is ‘founded on deep audience and market insight’, which will be ‘driven from Animo’s custom-developed mobile audience research panel’. This panel consists of 25,000 people and aims to create bespoke and detailed views of audience preference and brand performance in the mobile sphere.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen Communications Group, added: ‘Given mobile is increasingly changing the way we think about and engage with the world around us, the time is right for Animo and its combination of in-depth mobile industry knowledge, audience insight research expertise and digital execution and engagement skills. As such, we’re highly excited about the growth potential for this business.’

Nokia, which hired Next Fifteen in May, is Animo's first client.

The group's figures come after a series of acquisitions for the group, which included buying 85% of Blueshirt Group LLC, an investor and media relations company based in San Francisco, and Bite Communications Group acquiring Munich-based Trademark PR and Trademark Consulting.

Next Fifteen chairman Richard Eyre said: ‘Digital is giving the group access to new revenue streams and helping to deliver strong growth in North America and Asia. During the year Next 15 further expanded its digital offering and strengthened its corporate business, through targeted acquisitions. Against a backdrop of geopolitical turmoil Next 15 has delivered strong top and bottom line growth, with a balance sheet that is both robust and sustainable.’

Technology PR accounts represented 69% of the group’s revenue, and it grew by 9%, which the agency puts down to strong performancea from Outcast and Text 100 in North America and Bite in Asia Pacific.

The consumer PR division, representing 19% of the group’s total revenue, grew by 12%. The corporate comms division, representing 6% of group revenue and the Digital/Research segment also 6%, have both more than doubled in size.

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