LONDON—Next Fifteen Communications Group, the London Stock Exchange listed parent of public relations consultancies Text 100, Bite Communications, OutCast Communications, and Inferno, saw revenues increase by a modest 6 percent last year to £59.3 million (11 percent in constant currency terms) but saw profits and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increase at a significantly faster rate.
The company’s preliminary results for the year ended July 31, 2007, announced last week, were accompanied by a bullish statement on the future of the business, and in particular on the impact of social media on the prospects for public relations growth.
Said chairman Will Whitehorn: “The global public relations industry is in a period of expansion as more and more media moves online and as social media such as blogs and phenomena such as MySpace and Facebook continue to attract users. Against this background and due to its strength in these areas, the Group has again shown excellent growth at both the top and bottom line.
“Behind these results are a stronger UK business; a reduced tax charge; further expansion in Asia; and the addition of significant new clients including Facebook, Boots, Cisco, Nokia and MySpace.”
Other operational highlights included the acquisition of a further 25 percent stake in U.K. consumer public relations consultancy Lexis Public Relations in November 2006, taking Next Fiftenn’s holding to 76 percent; the launch of a new market research agency, Redshift Research, in the U.K.; and the addition of Bite offices in China and Hong Kong