Ipsos has reported what it has described as an 'uneventful' first-half year, with revenue of EUR 833.8m, almost unchanged from a year before, and organic growth of just 1 percent.
Ipsos says slight positive currency effects (+0.5%) and negative scope effects (-0.6%) broadly cancelled one another out in the first half, leaving revenue flat. While adjusted net profit was up 9.0% to EUR 36m from EUR 33.0m, operating profit declined 5.7% to EUR 50.7m from EUR 53.8m in H1 2016. With regards to operating costs, payroll expenses rose 6%, with group headcount rising 1.5%, mainly in emerging countries, bringing the total permanent headcount to 16,845 at 30th June 2017.
Ipsos suggests flat revenue may have been caused by several issues, including clients' changing circumstances. Competitive pressures have affected CPG clients, driving down MR activity by 5% during the period, while clients from other sectors such as pharmaceuticals and financial services have increased spend 'significantly'. To achieve its 3% target for organic growth in 2017, Ipsos said its international CPG clients would have to regain their historical levels of activity in the second half of the year: should it decline further, growth will fall to between 1% and 2%.
The gap in growth between developed countries and emerging countries became significant again, according to Ipsos: turnover was down 1.3% and up 3.3% respectively. However there was variation within these categories: within emerging markets, Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe drove growth while others such as the Middle East and Brazil were more 'difficult'. Likewise, within the developed markets, the UK maintained a high growth rate, while France was affected by a long electoral process.
(in millions of euros)
||Change 2017/2016||Organic Growth
|Europe, Middle East and Africa||360.4||360.0||0.1%||3%|
|Consolidated revenues by business line
(In millions of euros)
|1st Half 2017||1st Half 2016||Change
|Media and Advertising Research||177.7||182.7||-2.8%||-3%|
|Opinion & Social Research||92.5||85.8||7.8%||9%|