Enero is the Australian marketing group previously known as Photon. Its best-known subsidiary is now creative agency BMF but until 2019 it also owned integrated shop Naked. In the space of a few years in the 2000s, Photon established itself as one of the world's fastest growing marketing groups through a series of more than 50 acquisitions. Although the majority of these bolt-on businesses were based in Australia, it carved out a global profile in 2008 with the purchase of widely admired British planning specialist Naked, which already managed its own increasingly widely spread international network. However, the global economic crisis created significant problems for the group after 2009 as it struggled to manage the huge debts it had accumulated. As a result, it steadily consolidated its collection, closing or selling smaller or less profitable units or merging them into their larger counterparts. The culmination of that process was a change of name to Enero Group in summer 2012. By 2017, what was once a collection of over 50 separate companies had been whittled down to just 10, including BMF and Naked, PR agencies Frank and Hotwire, public affairs specialist CPR and market researcher The Leading Edge. The group acquired Australia's Orchard advertising in 2018, but once-mighty Naked finally closed its doors in 2019, with its remaining operations absorbed into BMF, still the group's flagship agency. The group finally clawed its way back to profit in 2016 after six years of losses but life remained challenging. A full turnaround finally took hold during 2018, and has been maintained. Group net ret revenues fell from over A$440m in 2009 to a low of A$100m in 2017 before rebounding. The figure for the year to June 2021 was A$160.6m, up 18%, while net profit more than doubled to A$33m. Australia accounted for 40% of revenues; the US for 37%. BMF co-founder Matthew Melhuish became Enero's group CEO in 2012, but stepped down in 2020, to be succeeded by former Nike marketing executive Brent Scrimshaw. Ann Sherry is group chair. Yet another agency left the fold in 2021 with the buyout of PR agency Frank by its managers, leaving Hotwire as the group's lead PR agency. In 2022, market researcher The Leading Edge was also divested, reducing the group's portfolio to just five agencies.
Capsule checked 15th July 2021
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Historical profile information for Enero
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Oct 2016: Australian marketing group Enero - owner of Naked, BMF and other agencies - dipped its toe back into the acquisition market with a deal for US PR agency Eastwick Communications. It's Enero's first purchase in seven years. The group has spent most of that time recovering from an undisciplined string of acquisitions in the 2000s which almost caused the group's collapse. Of the 50 separate companies acquired during that decade, all but 10 have been sold, combined or shuttered. Eastwick is to be absorbed into the group's existing US PR shop Hotwire.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Aug 2014: Australian marketing group Enero, parent to BMF and Naked among other brands, was finally back to virtual breakeven after a long and painful restructuring. Under its previous name of Photon it joined the second tier of global marketing groups in the mid 2000s as a result of string of acquisitions. However, the 2008/9 downturn prompted a near-catastrophic meltdown, from which it is still only just recovering. Revenues for the year to June were A$120m, down 6% on last year and little more than a quarter of the A$441 it reported five years ago. Net loss improved to A$3m (from A$83m last year) but excluding exceptional items, the group was almost exactly at breakeven.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Aug 2013: Australian marketing group Enero, parent to planning-turned-creative network Naked and Ozzie creative shop BMF, reported disappointing results for the year to June 2013. Under its former name Photon, the group briefly became Australia's biggest marketing group in the late 2000s before stumbling under the weight of huge debts. These were accumulated in an undisciplined acquisition spree during which the group acquired more than 50 different companies in eight years, including 18 in just 2007 alone. Since 2011, it has cut loose almost of all of its acquired businesses and eliminated its debt, but the much-needed turnaround has been hampered by a simultaneous slump in performance at Naked and BMF and the handful of other agencies it still owns. Revenues for the year fell to A$127m (from more than A$440m back in 2009), and although net losses improved (to A$83m) there was a worrying fall in operating profit. Despite last year's bigger net loss, caused largely by impairments, EBITDA for year ending 2013 plummeted to under A$4m from almost A$21m in 2012.
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