NEWS15 November 2013

GfK third-quarter sales down 4.1% to €361.4m

Europe Financials

GERMANY — GfK’s third-quarter sales fell 4.1% to €361.4m, the company has said, however CEO Matthias Hartmann (pictured) noted a “marked rise” in Q3 income and cash flow.

Adjusted operating income was up 12.5% in the quarter to €49.9m, leading to a slight year-over-year improvement to adjusted operating income for the first nine months.

Sales to 30 September were down 0.6% to €1.09bn, while adjusted operating income increased 0.6% to €126.3m.

GfK is split into two main sectors, Consumer Choices and Consumer Experiences. The latter – focusing on what is bought by consumers, when and where – saw a 1.4% rise in nine-month sales to €449m, while adjusted operating income increased 8.1% to €107.3m.

However, Consumer Experiences – which deals with consumer habits, behaviours, perceptions and attitudes – reported a 2% decrease in sales to €637.2m, while adjusted operating income fell 18.9% to €26.6m.

GfK said sales were “adversely affected by currency effects of -2.5 percentage points”. “However,” the company noted, “sales were also 1.1 percentage points down in organic terms.”

“The business trend in this sector was unsatisfactory in North America, where contracts were postponed, and in Italy, owing to the deterioration in economic conditions.” The firm continued: “Business in the healthcare, technology and retail segments fell short of expectations.”

Provided that the economic situation does not worsen, GfK said it is still anticipating organic sales growth of up to 3% in 2013, with an adjusted operating income margin of 12.4%–13%. Organic growth in the first nine months was 0.9%, while margin was 11.6%.