Interim results for the six months ended 31 January 2008

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc (“Next Fifteen” or “the Group”), the international public relations consultancy group, today reports record profitability and revenues for its financial results for the six months to 31 January 2008.

Financial Highlights:

  • Adjusted profit before tax up 9.3% to £3.08 million (2007: £2.81 million) (see note 3)
  • Revenues up 3.3% to £30.4 million (2007: £29.4 million)
  • On the basis of the average currency rates in the first half of 2007, revenue growth would have been up 4.7%
  • Operating profit margins improved to 10.2% from 10.0% in the comparative period
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 15.2% to 4.01p (2007: 3.48p) (see note 7)
  • Interim dividend increased 12.5% to 0.45p (2007: 0.4p)
  • Adjusted pre-tax margin before Head Office costs increased to 15.1% (2007: 14.2%), with a reduction in relative staff costs to 67.1% of revenue (2007: 68.2%)
  • Net cash of £0.4m, following strong cash conversion from operating profit

Corporate progress:

  • Strong overall performance by the Group’s technology and non-technology orientated consulting businesses; growth of existing client revenue and significant new client wins including Facebook, AMD, MTV, EQO and Belkin
  • Organic revenue growth in US up 5.3%, in EMEA up 7.4%, in India up 22%
  • After the period closed, ownership of Lexis Public Relations was increased to 87.15%, further strengthening the Group’s presence beyond the technology sector. Remaining equity to be purchased within the next two years
  • OutCast (acquired in June 2005), performed strongly with revenue growth of 18% in dollar terms
  • Five-year agreement with Sun Microsystems

Commenting on the results, Chairman of Next Fifteen, Will Whitehorn, said:

“In generating strong results again for the first half the Group is continuing to make good progress”

“We are seeing a strong new-business climate in all the Group’s key markets and particularly so in the US, UK and mainland Europe.  We have expanded our relationships with a number of clients including Xerox, AMD and Barclays Premier League.  We have also added clients such as Facebook, MTV, EQO and Belkin.”

“We remain optimistic about the PR market growth potential of both the high-growth markets such as India (where we have been established for 12 years) and China (where we are in our fifth year) as well as the more established markets such as the UK and US. The Group has not been affected by the turmoil in the Financial Services sector as a result of its strong focus on IT, where budgets remain healthy.  The Group is also benefiting from its strong positioning in social media, an area of marketing services that is expanding, as other areas, such as traditional advertising, decline.  We therefore remain optimistic about our growth potential and that of the PR market overall. The Board remains confident that the Group will continue to generate good organic growth, based on its sector focus and geographical reach.”