Next Fifteen forecasts profit shortfall

LONDON: Next Fifteen Communications Group said Wednesday its profits for the 2013 financial year will fall short of market expectations.

LONDON: Next Fifteen Communications Group said Wednesday its profits for the 2013 financial year will fall short of market expectations.

The group attributed the profit shortfall to audit adjustments related to issues at subsidiary Bite.  The holding company, which also owns PR firms M Booth, Text100, and The OutCast Agency, said its revenues will “be in line with expectations.”  

Next Fifteen finance director David Dewhurst has also stepped down from his role after 14 years with the company, according to the statement.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen, did not respond to requests for comment.

The announcement comes a year after Next Fifteen was forced to write off nearly $3 million in stolen assets for the 2012 fiscal year due to a fraud case involving a senior member of the finance team in Bite's San Francisco office.

Bite has seen a number of leadership changes over the past year. Former Bite CEO Clive Armitage left the firm at the end of 2012 to start his own digital marketing agency under Next Fifteen. Dyson said Armitage's exit was not related to the fraud case. Andy Cunningham, who previously held the role of president of North America, succeeded Armitage as chief executive.

Cunningham stepped down from the role in June to focus on SeriesC, the marketing consultancy she founded. Dyson took over the firm on an interim basis.

Last month, Bite appointed former Edelman SVP Sean Mills to serve as the agency's regional director for North America.

Next Fifteen will announce its financial results on November 5.

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