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NEWS2 November 2007

Acquisitions and US growth fuel ‘solid’ quarter for Harris

Firm reports 4% organic growth, aims to build international market share

US— Following a difficult fiscal 2007, Harris Interactive achieved 4% organic growth in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

This was driven by a 6% year-on-year rise in US organic revenue for the July to September period, recovering from declines last year. The firm also celebrated a return to growth for its US healthcare business, despite “continued bad news” in the sector.

Revenue was up 17% overall, driven by $6.1m contributed by recently acquired firms Media Transfer in Germany, Decima in Canada and MarketShare in Asia.

CEO Greg Novak called it a “solid” quarter and “a strong basis on which to build a good fiscal 2008”. Commenting on the three new acquisitions, he said: “We expect to see strong future performance from those units, which will prove the viability of a properly conceived and managed globalisation strategy.”

Novak, who sets off next week to visit Harris’ business units in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing, highlighted the need to increase market share outside the US to compete with the ‘big five’. The firm is well positioned to take advantage of global expansion and the growth of online research, and has a “clean sheet opportunity to build an integrated structure” of regional firms, he said.

“Because of our limited footprint we’ve been historically shut out of much of the global research market. But I don’t see our small size as an impediment. In fact it’s a huge opportunity that we’re well positioned to take advantage of,” said Novak.

In response to questions about possible tie-ups with investor Vincent Bolloré’s media group, Novak said Harris may be able to offer online data collection services in France. “They have a massive media company that I think could use some of our media research as a support mechanism,” he said.

Author: Robert Bain

Related links:

Harris ‘optimistic’ despite tough fiscal 2007

Harris extends reach into Canada, Asia

Novak: ‘I feel like I have let you down’

@RESEARCH LIVE

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