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'Watch' Success and Acquisition Keep Nielsen Growing

February 8 2018

Nielsen has reported a 6.3% increase in fourth quarter revenue to $1.76 billion, equivalent to 4.2% on a constant currency basis; while for the full year, revenues were up 4.2% to $6.57 billion (3.8% constant currency). Organic growth was less than 1 percent, with the Buy segment declining.

Mitch BarnsQ4 revenues within the Watch media research segment increased 15.9% to $913m, or 14.8% on a constant currency basis. Excluding the February 2017 acquisition of media and entertainment data provider Gracenote, Watch revenues increased 7.4% (6.4% on a constant currency basis). However, in the Buy consumer purchase behavior division, fourth quarter revenues fell 2.3% to $848m, down 5.3% on a foreign exchange neutral basis. Buy emerging markets revenues rose 7.4% (4.8% constant currency); while in the developed markets, revenues fell 3.3%, or 6.7% on a constant currency basis, due to 'continued softness' in the US market. Revenues in Corporate Buy declined by $23m, or 57.5% on a reported and constant currency basis, which Nielsen says was primarily because of divestitures in December 2016.

Overall for the group, and giving percentage changes at constant currency, Q4 net income decreased 50.6% to $81m, but Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.8% to $579m. For the full year, Net income fell 16.2% to $429m, but Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.3% to $2.03 billion. Full year Watch segment revenues increased 11.7% to $3.34 billion; while for the Buy division, they fell 3.3% to $3.23 billion.

CEO Mitch Barns (pictured) comments: 'We executed well on our key initiatives in Watch and Buy while contending with rapidly changing markets in 2017. In 2018, we'll continue to invest in innovation to drive growth and efficiency as we proceed on the path towards 2020. We continue to drive the rollout of the Connected System and increase coverage and granularity within our Total Consumer initiative, both of which will enable us to drive growth for Nielsen and our clients despite the environment'.

Web site: www.nielsen.com .

All articles 2006-18 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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