Next Fifteen upgraded after company reveals first-half momentum has continued into the third quarter

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Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC (AIM:NFC, FRA:8LS) has been upgraded by a City broker following interim results, which provided an upbeat assessment of current trading.


Small- and mid-cap specialist Peel Hunt moved to ‘add’ from ‘hold’ as well as increasing its stock valuation to 1,220p from 1,130p.


It also nudged higher its forecasts after for the digital marketing and communications specialist said the momentum it had seen in the six months to June 30 had continued into the third quarter.


“Everything is going in the right direction for Next Fifteen,” Peel said in a note to clients.


“Good growth was seen in all segments, which each produced double-digit organic growth.


“Margins have also expanded nicely, having contracted at the height of the pandemic last year.


“Despite tougher comps, momentum has continued into the third quarter.


“If the trends continue, there is a high chance we could see outperformance again for the final quarter.”


Earlier, NFC said adjusted net revenue for the six months was up 32% at GBP165.9mln, reflecting a more favourable mix towards more higher-margin services and improved operational gearing. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the period grew 69% to GBP35mln.


Reflecting its confidence in the outlook for the remainder of the year, the group resumed its interim dividend payment. Investors will receive 3.6p a share.


Chair Penny Ladkin-Brand said: “Our first-half results have seen very strong organic revenue and profit growth across all segments and we continue to benefit from the same momentum in our second half.


“The increasing mix of digital services is providing strong operating leverage although we are also taking the opportunity to accelerate investment in talent and product development to continue to drive longer-term growth.”

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