NEWS29 April 2010

ComScore plots acquisitions off the back of record Q1 performance

Financials North America

US— ComScore has posted record revenue of $36.1m for the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 18% on last year’s total of $30.6m – leading the firm to predict that this year will be the “strongest” in its history.

Income before tax was $1.3m, down from $1.5m in 2009 and net income dropped to $0.2m from $0.3m. Excluding costs relating to acquisitions and restructuring and other one-time charges, ComScore said net income would have totalled $5m compared to $4.1m in 2009.

Magid Abraham, the firm’s president and CEO said: “The momentum we saw in late 2009 continued into the first quarter of 2010 in all our major product and vertical industry sectors, In particular, customer interest and sales activity in our Media Metrix 360 audience measurement product was high.”

He said that the firm had seen “particularly strong results” in the consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, financial services and telecom industry verticals.

Seventy-six new clients were added during the quarter, 13 of which came via the acquisition of ad researcher ARSgroup earlier this year. Revenue from existing customers was up 20% to $32.3m, which accounted for 89% of total revenue, while the rest came from new business.

Abraham was particularly pleased with the firm’s free cash flow figure of $13.1m, which represents sequential growth of 161% over the last quarter of 2009.

Chief financial officer Kenneth Tarpey said that in light of the firm’s Q1 perfomance revenue growth guidance for the year had been raised from between 21% and 25% to between 24% and 28%. “We anticipate 2010 to be the strongest year in our history,” Tarpey said.

Away from the results, Magid Abraham said ComScore would be looking at making acquisitions this year to “extend international business”. The firm has filed a shelf registration statement, which would give it the option to raise up to $100m by selling shares. But, Abraham said, the firm has “no immediate plans” to raise capital in this way and any acquisitions would be paid for in cash.