NEWS20 December 2013

Goodwill adjustments to impact on GfK’s earnings

Europe Financials

GERMANY — GfK has warned investors of a likely “significant” drop in earnings following a €112.5m adjustment to goodwill on acquisitions.

In a statement, the company said that the adjustment followed “the reassessment of the medium-term growth prospects for the consumer experiences sector” – one of the agency’s two main business lines.

GfK said the decrease in goodwill value relates to the consumer experiences sector in North and Latin America, southern and western Europe, and “a minor amount” to central and eastern Europe and the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“The decrease in value has no impact on the performance indicator of adjusted operating income and does not affect the cash flow,” the company said. “In view of the fact that the amortisation cannot be applied for tax purposes, the adjustment will have a significant impact on consolidated total income.”

GfK’s most recent results, published in November, showed third-quarter sales down 4.1% to €361.4m, while adjusted operating income was up 12.5% to €49.9m.

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

The consumer experiences business – 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.

Meanwhile, consumer choices – the business line focused on what is bought by consumers, when and where – saw a 1.4% rise in sales to €449m, while adjusted operating income increased 8.1% to €107.3m.

Pictured is CEO Matthias Hartmann.