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Nielsen Shifting Focus as 2018 Revenue and Profit Fall

February 28 2019

Nielsen has reported a 0.9% decrease in full year 2018 revenue to $6.5bn. The company will now restructure into two new segments, Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, and CEO David Kenny says its 2019 focus is to transform into a 'product-driven technology organization'.

David KennyFor 2018 revenues within the Watch segment increased 2.3% to $3.4bn, while for the Buy segment they decreased 4.1% to $3.bn; but in the fourth quarter revenue fell within both segments - Watch by 3.5% to $881m, and Buy falling 8.5% to $777m. Adjusted EBITDA for the year decreased 8.6% to $1.8bn; and for the fourth quarter by 15.3% to $488m.

Overall, group net loss for the year was $712m, compared to net income of $429m in 2017: this was the result of a huge net loss for the fourth quarter of $952m, itself the product of impairment charges of $1,413m due to the writedown of goodwill in the Buy segment, only partially offset by income tax benefits of $370m following the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). A further $8m after tax has so far been spent on the ongoing strategic review.

Kenny (pictured) was brought in last October as the company kicked off the review, the upshot of which could include continuing to operate as a public, independent company; a separation of either of the two key segments; or a sale of the whole company.

Commenting on the results, Kenny said: '2018 was a challenging year but we delivered on our key operational metrics for the second half and positioned ourselves for 2019. Our focus for 2019 is on transforming into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions. We expect these strategies to translate into improved performance in 2019 and beyond as we increase our value to clients'.

Web site: www.nielsen.com .

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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