Profits fall but Next Fifteen continues expansion plan

Next Fifteen Communications Group, which owns Text 100, Bite and Lexis PR, has reported a drop in profits for the year ended 31 July 2009, but is ploughing ahead with plans to launch new digital comms agency Project Metal.

Will Whitehorn: Next Fifteen chairman
Will Whitehorn: Next Fifteen chairman

The group saw profit before tax drop to £3.2m from £5.5m one year earlier. Revenues rose by 3.6 per cent to £65.4m.

The group announced that it intends to continue with plans to launch a digital comms agency -  a reference to Project Metal, which is being headed by Bite executives David Hargreaves and Nick Rappolt in the US and UK, respectively.

It also announced its intention to purchase a further 30 per cent stake in US policy group 463 Communications, taking its overall shareholding to 70 per cent.

‘Next Fifteen has continued to make progress over the past year in developing the company's global reach and breadth of client services against a difficult economic impact from which it has not been immune,' said Next Fifteen chairman Will Whitehorn in a statement.

‘During the year revenues continued to grow but profits were impacted by both restructuring and adverse currency movements. However, despite £4.5m of acquisition related payments the group maintained a healthy net cash position well ahead of forecasts, closing the year with £1.8m of net cash. This was primarily due to very careful control of costs throughout the group.'

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