NEWS31 January 2017

GfK reports 1.7% sales decline for 2016

Europe Financials News

GERMANY – Both sales and adjusted operating income fell in 2016 compared with the previous year for market and consumer information giant, GfK.

The company said currency effects played a role and had a negative effect on sales growth of 1.6%. Adjusted operating income was reported at €154 million for the year – a 3.8% drop.

Its Consumer Choices sector saw organic growth of 4.1% (€680m sales) but delays in large projects in its Audience Measurement business meant that fell. Consumer Experiences sector dropped 6.3% year-on-year (€804m sales).

Gerhard Hausruckinger, speaker of the GfK SE management board, said: “2016 was a difficult year for us. We had to post reduced sales in the ad hoc business and are in the process of refocusing key major media projects to achieve long-term success. At the same time, we have strengthened our digital business through targeted acquisitions. We divested less promising activities. This is why we have not achieved our margin targets.”

Those strategic digital acquisitions have included NORM and Netquest.

Regionally Asia Pacific, CEE/META and Latin America achieved organic growth and overall performed positively. Southern and Western Europe recorded organic growth in the fourth quarter, but declined in the first three quarters. Northern Europe and, in particular, North America recorded a sharp decline in sales. 

Its CEO Matthias Hartmann left the company suddenly in August last year.