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Revenues Plunge 30.4% at Harris Interactive

May 8 2009

Harris Interactive has reported a 30.4% fall in revenue for the third quarter of 2009; from $57.3m in 2008 to $39.9m this year. The revenue decline impacted nearly all the firm's geographic regions, including the US, where revenue was down 33% for the quarter.

Kimberly TillIn the UK, revenue actually grew by 2% on a local currency basis, but was negatively impacted by foreign exchange conversion, resulting in revenues declining by 27% on a US dollar basis.

Revenue in Germany was down 17% local currency and 25% in US dollar, and Canadian revenue fell 25% local currency and 40% after the impact of foreign currency translation.

On a more positive note, in France, revenues grew 24% on a local currency basis, and 9% on US dollar basis, which was primarily driven by the growth in the healthcare and consumer industries.
Also in Asia, growth was 81%, or 76% on a US dollar basis, which the firm says was attributable to new opportunities in the pharma, telecoms and hotel industries.

President and CEO Kimberly Till said the firm has begun looking at opportunities to strengthen its international presence and is currently examining geographic markets with attractive size and growth, such as China and Japan.

Operating loss for the third quarter was $7.3m, compared with an operating loss of $1.9m in the prior year period. This included $5.3m in restructuring and other charges including $3.4m for severance relating to US and UK headcount reductions and post employment payments to a former executive.

The loss also included $1.1m for performance improvement consultancy fees, and $0.8m in other charges.

Till outlined the firm's cost reduction actions during the second quarter, and additional actions during the third quarter, which she said should yield approximately $21m in annualized savings.

Net loss for the period was $6.7m, compared with a net loss of $2.1m in the same period in the prior year.

Bookings for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 were down to $37.9m, compared with $61.3m for the same period in the prior year. Sales backlog for the period was $56.0m, compared with $76.9m for the same period in the prior year.

During a conference call, Till made an assurance that returning Harris to revenue growth and profitability remains the firm's top priority.

Yesterday, the firm announced it has amended its credit agreement in a move which Till says will provide it with 'the financial stability and flexibility needed' as the firm continues to implement its strategic plan.

Web site: www.harrisinteractive.com .

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

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