NEWS22 January 2010

German MR revenue ‘down 5% in 2009’

Europe Financials

GERMANY— Market research revenues in Germany fell by 5% last year, according to league tables produced by industry publication Context.

Top of the revenue list was GfK, which turned over €1.2bn in 2009, of which around a quarter comes from work conducted in Germany. GfK’s revenue fell by just 1.6%, cushioned by its international performance. German revenue for the agency was down 4%.

Next came TNS Infratest, now owned by WPP, with €195m, followed by Nielsen, whose takings were flat at €92.5m once figures were adjusted for differences in reporting between 2008 and 2009. Ipsos’s revenue was down by less than 1% to €42.2m.

Despite staff cuts at many agencies, the total number of permanent employees in the industry was actually up, thanks to expansion at agencies including GfK. However, staff adjustments do not yet seem to have led to greater efficiency, with revenue per employee down for the third year running.

The rankings are based on reported figures for 2008 and expected figures for 2009, as provided by 151 German agencies. The total revenue of those taking part was €2.08bn.

Context noted that fewer agencies agreed to provide figures for 2009 than for 2008, and that among those that took part in both years the overall revenue fall was only 4%. Context said some of those that declined to provide figures this time did so because of disappointing results.

Of the agencies that took part, 54% reported a fall in revenue while only 17% saw a rise. Among those that grew were Foerster & Thelen, Kleffmann Group and Infas.