Next Fifteen executive defends its low share price

Next Fifteen chief executive Tim Dyson admitted the group is examining whether 'a public market is the right place for the group' after its shares continued to slip.

Next Fifteen owns Text 100, Bite Communications, and Lexis PR, but is struggling with a difficult market that does not trust non-traditional stocks.

Dyson said such reviews were 'a part of being a listed firm' but added that Next Fifteen's share price - at the time of press sitting around 60.5p - was frustrating and not a reflection of the group's true value.

At its current price Next Fifteen is valued by investors at only just over £32m.

'The company is performing well and has posted good results,' said Dyson, referring to Next Fifteen's £4.47m in the year to July 2007. 'The share price does not reflect that. The market is a difficult place for anyone in our sector, whether it be Next Fifteen, Creston, Chime or Huntsworth.'

Next Fifteen, which has established a successful global tech offering, is not as broad-based as Hunstworth or Chime, and would like to expand. However, the firm finds it difficult to finance large acquisitions in its current situation.

In a Sunday Telegraph article last week, WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell said that Next Fifteen needs to improve its margins.

Dyson agreed and added that the firm would expand in Asia and the US more than the UK, where independent PR agencies are reaching 'inflated' valuations. He said that the situation could be worse - in the dotcom crash its shares hit a low of 18p.

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