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Next 15 hikes dividend as adjusted earnings slide

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

Next 15 hikes dividend as adjusted earnings slide

(Sharecast News) - Technology and data-focussed consultancy Next 15 Group reported a 5% uptick in its net revenue on Tuesday, to £286.4m, with statutory revenue exhibiting growth of 7%.
The AIM-traded company said adjusted pre-tax profit stood at £55.6m for the six months ended 31 July, down 8% year-on-year.

It did, however, record a 10% rise in statutory operating profit, reaching £36.9m, while adjusted diluted earnings per share fell 14% to 37.9p, and diluted earnings per share settled at 13.6p, swinging from losses of 10.6p a year ago.

The board announced an interim dividend of 4.75p per share, marking a 5% increment from the previous distribution.

Next 15 Group also revealed plans to launch a share buy-back initiative worth up to £30m, adding that its net cash sourced from operations saw a substantial rise of 35% in the first half to £24.8m.

From an operational standpoint, the consultancy reported significant client acquisitions, having on-boarded or expanded its dealings with major entities, including TikTok, Blizzard Entertainment, and the BBC.

Looking ahead, the firm said operations were progressing generally per managerial anticipations, even in the face of particular global economic challenges.

It underscored its steady performance across all four business sectors, particularly highlighting the integration of Engine in March last year and the exponential rise of Mach49.

With the procurement of significant client engagements like TikTok and BBC, the group was confident in its growth trajectory for the year.

"I am very pleased with the group's performance given the continued economic headwinds. It demonstrates the strength of our businesses and that our diversified, agile and de-centralised operating model works," said chief executive officer Tim Dyson.

"This also gives me confidence that we will deliver another year of solid momentum.

"We are acutely aware that the adoption of AI is going to disrupt and transform almost every business over the next few years."

Dyson said that presented significant long-term opportunities for the group, adding that it started investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence several years ago.

"More recently we have initiated group-wide projects to look for efficiencies in our operating models, new products and revenue streams to deepen the relationship with our clients and are actively harnessing our proprietary data to explore commercial opportunities.

"We will outline our latest perspectives on generative AI and some of the progress made on product development at a capital markets day towards the end of October.

"Our ambition is to continue to deliver above-market growth, and we are aiming to double the size of the business in the next five years."

At 1243 BST, shares in Next 15 Group were down 2.78% at 599.83p.

Reporting by Josh White for


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