GfK Posts ‘Best Quarter Ever’
In the final quarter of 2007 GfK achieved organic growth of 6.5% and a margin of 16.8% – a figure the firm says is the most successful in its history. Based on preliminary data, the group also reported an organic sales increase of 5.8% to Euros 1,162m for the full year.
Adjusted for acquisitions and currency effects, sales were up by 4.5%, while adjusted operating income rose by 4.3% year-on-year to EUR 157m, and margin stood at 13.6%, up from 13.5% in the prior year.
Throughout the year, all GfK divisions with the exception of HealthCare exceeded the results recorded in the prior year and achieved double-digit organic sales growth.
Custom Research enjoyed a successful fourth quarter with organic sales up 5.1% and a rise in income of 22.9%. For the full year, the division, which posted the highest sales levels in the Gfk Group, saw sales of EUR 538m, up from EUR 517.8m the previous year.
Retail and Technology closed the year with sales growth of 10.8%, up from 8.9% the previous year, and contributed EUR 261m to group sales, with organic sales growth of 11.6%. In October, the network was expanded in the Asia and Pacific region with the acquisitions of Chinese companies Sino-MR and CMM (www.mrweb.com/drno/news7451.htm ).
The Consumer Tracking division grew organic sales by 3.2% to EUR 103m, with particular expansion noted in the German market, and growth in many Eastern European and Scandinavian countries.
Media increased sales by 6.4% from EUR 117m in the prior year to EUR 124m in 2007. Strong organic sales growth amounted to 10.1% (up from 1.6% in 2006), which the firm says was mainly attributable to major contract wins in North America and Western Europe/Middle East/Africa.
Meanwhile, currency effects contributed to a reduction of sales by 5.2% in the Healthcare division, where most of its sales are generated in North America. Income was down 8.4% to EUR 15m and organic income fell by 4.6%.
The firm anticipates an increase in organic sales of more than 5.5% in 2008, and during the year it plans to pursue its 5 Star Initiative, which includes:
During 2007, GfK increased its staff numbers to 9,070 around the globe (up from 7,902 the previous year).
- Fact-Based Consultancy – developing high-value, fact-based consultancy services
- Top 3 – to become the number three company in the global market research industry
- Global Reach – to expand the network and establish its own companies in all relevant countries
- Full Service – to consolidate GfK’s positions as a full-service MR provider
- Excellent Financials – targeting sales of EUR 1.5bn.
Web site: www.gfk.com.