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Profitable First Quarter for Slimmed-Down Nielsen

May 6 2021

Nielsen has reported a 2.5% increase in first quarter revenue to $863m, with EBITDA climbing strongly (up 18.3%).

David KennyRecently sold consumer intelligence business Nielsen Global Connect was reported as 'discontinued operations' from the start of the year.

On completion of a strategic review in 2019, Nielsen announced that it would split its business into two standalone companies: Global Media, similar to its old 'Watch' division; and Global Connect, similar to the old 'Buy' arm. Last November, Nielsen found a buyer for the latter (now re-named NielsenIQ) for $2.4 billion in net proceeds, which it says resulted in a $542m preliminary gain on sale, net of taxes, recognized in the quarter. Of the net proceeds, $2.28 billion was used for debt reduction in March and April 2021.

During the first quarter, Audience Measurement revenues increased 2.8% on a reported basis, to $632m - up 1.9% on a constant currency basis, and 2.3% on an organic basis, with growth most notably in digital measurement. For the Outcomes & Content segment, revenues of $231m increased 1.8% on a reported basis, decreased 0.4% on a constant currency basis, and grew 2.2% on an organic basis.

Overall for the company, net income from continuing operations increased 89% to $106m, compared with $56m in the first quarter of 2020. The firm says this was driven by strong revenue performance, the benefit of permanent cost actions from the 2020 optimization plan, lower depreciation and amortization expense and lower restructuring charges. Adjusted EBITDA was $388m, compared with $326m in the first quarter of 2020, up 19.0% on a reported basis and 18.3% on a constant currency basis, as compared to Q1 2020.

CEO David Kenny (pictured) said of the figures: 'Having closed on the sale of Global Connect in March, we are now singularly focused as the global essential data, measurement, and analytics provider for the entire media ecosystem. We are investing in our future and we are well-positioned to drive new growth from new solutions across all of our end markets globally. In particular, we are pleased with the advances we've made in Audience Measurement, Outcomes and Gracenote Content Services'.

Web site: www.nielsen.com .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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