NEWS30 November 2009

Creston posts insight revenue drop, but CEO upbeat

Financials UK

UK— Research and marketing services group Creston has reported an 8% decline in revenue to £7.8m in its research business for the six months ending 30 September.

The division’s figures were negatively affected by poor performances at MSTS and CML Research, Creston’s sensory testing and advertising concept testing agencies. Both have since been closed as standalone businesses, with MSTS’s services integrated into Marketing Sciences and CML’s product suite now part of ICM.

Costs associated with the closure of the two businesses and a goodwill write-off led to a pre-tax loss of £1.7m in the division, said CEO Don Elgie (pictured).

Stripping out the performance of MSTS and CML, revenue for the insight division fell just 1%, which Elgie said was caused by a “delay in commissioned projects that are now either under way or completed”. He said the results “compare favourably to the wider market research sector which has seen a 5% decline in the second quarter”.

New business wins within the insight division included Marketing Sciences being appointed by household goods manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser to conduct a worldwide packaging research project and the appointment of ICM by GSK to conduct an 11-country tracking survey.

Group-wide, revenue was down 6% to £38.7m while profit before tax was up 1% to £6.3m.