NEWS20 January 2010

Further job cuts planned at TNS Infratest in Germany

Europe People

GERMANY— TNS’s German business is planning further job cuts in the wake of the financial crisis. The company announced last summer that 4% of its workforce would go as a result of its merger with Research International, but more redundancies are now on the way.

Spokesman Bruno Hötzel (pictured) said the financial crisis could not have come at a worse time for the company.

“After the takeover of the TNS group by WPP in October 2008, a range of integration measures were necessary in Germany, which began some months ago,” he said. “Alongside the desired synergies, the crisis has forced us to make further personnel adjustments.”

Such adjustments would be made in as socially responsible a way as possible, Hötzel said, but lay-offs were inevitable. However, he said the firm is not considering closing any of its German offices.

CEO Hartmut Scheffler said the crisis had heightened the need for change and innovation in the market research industry. He said the firm would be increasing its focus on new techniques designed for the digital world, as well as new developments in qualitative research.

The company, Scheffler said, would emerge from the restructure stronger and better positioned to face the challenges of the future.

TNS Infratest said it saw a fall in revenue “typical for the sector” last year, with clients in the automotive and finance sectors hardest hit, while cutbacks were also seen in areas such as consumer goods, media and advertising. Recovery in these sectors is not expected before the end of 2010, the company said.