YouGov has announced interim results for the six months ended 31 January 2007, with turnover up 61% to £6.1m year-on-year, mainly through organic growth, and operating profit up 57% to £2.2m. It also announced a JV with networking guru Carole Stone.
Revenue for the UK business grew 68% to £3.2m and the Middle Eastern (re-branded as YouGovSiraj) 53% to £2.9m. The UK client base for the six months to 31 January 2007 has increased to 263 from 180 for the same period last year. Staff numbers have increased from a group headcount of 59 at 31 July 2006 to 76 at 31 January 2007, with recruitment across all divisions.
Joint venture YouGovExecution Limited contributed £93k in revenue, while revenue from syndicated product BrandIndex has risen to 5% of the group total and a BrandIndex Managing Director has recently been appointed to develop the product and drive revenue growth.
Earnings per share increased by 59% from 8.0 to 12.7 pence per share, or 74% from 8.0p to 13.9p once adjusted, but the Directors are not recommending the payment of a dividend at this stage, reflecting growth and ‘the considerable opportunities available’.
The company has recently launched an Innovations Department, an Organisational Consulting Division (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6311.htm
)and two medical research services, PatientsOnline and NHSOpinions, under the YouGovHealthcare brand (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6539.htm
). In December 2006, YouGov announced a strategic investment in Polimetrix Inc, a US based online political and social research agency (www.mrweb.com/drno/news
6227.htm ). BrandIndex is due to be launched shortly in America, in the Gulf later in the year. The company launched a 50:50 joint venture with Centaur Media plc a month ago (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6507.htm
YouGov says it is ‘committed to establishing a base in Saudi Arabia’ although ‘the ad hoc nature of a small number of large contracts in the Middle Eastern business makes it difficult to predict revenue and profitability’, despite rapid expansion over the past 18 months.
Co-Founder and CEO Nadhim Zahawi comments: ‘YouGov’s strong growth during the first half reflects the benefits of our successful strategy of combining innovative product development with geographical expansion and selective acquisitions.’ Zahawi said the integration of acquisitions was going well and that the momentum seen in the year to date has continued to build in the second half, resulting in a confident outlook for the year as a whole. Growth reflects a strategy
combining product development with geographical expansion and selective acquisition.
Peter Kellner steps down as Chairman later this month as announced last autumn, assuming the role of President while Roger Parry becomes the new nonexecutive Chairman. (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6319.htm
). Stephan Shakespeare, previously Joint CEO, has been moved to a new Chief Innovations Officer role and the frim has created an operational board which will free up the plc board to focus on the strategic direction of the group.
Kellner concludes his remarks in the statement with a quick look back at his five years plus as Chairman: ‘I am proud to hand over to Roger Parry with the Company in rude health. In that time it has grown from a staff of eight to a staff of 80; our annual sales back in 2001 are now achieved every fortnight. YouGov’s online research, which then was widely regarded with scepticism is now generally accepted to offer speed, accuracy and excellent value.’
The firm also announced today it has a 51% stake in a new joint venture, YouGovStone
, which will enhance its existing ‘opinion former’ offer through the addition of Carole Stone’s network of leading business executives, academics, politicians and media commentators. Specialist opinion leader panels will offer bespoke research while the quarterly Think Tank product will be enhanced.
Stone, who worked at the BBC in the 1980s as Producer of Radio 4’s Any Questions and has since run her own consultancy, becomes MD of the new firm and will join YouGov’s Operational Board. She will have the support of an Advisory Board made up of Dianne Thompson, CBE, Chief Exec of Camelot; Xtreme information Chief Exec John Gordon; TNS founder Liz Nelson; and Mary Teresa (‘MT’) Rainey, founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.
Zahawi says the JV provides YouGov with ‘an excellent opportunity to maximise our exposure to opinion formers in the world of politics, business and media’.
YouGov also announced an exclusive deal with US financial institution Susquehanna International Group (SIG), to provide access to American BrandIndex subscription data and conduct a number of bespoke research projects.
The company is online at www.yougov.com