NEWS30 April 2010

Harris targets US improvement after Q3 loss

Financials North America

US— Harris Interactive has posted a slight increase in revenue for the third quarter of its 2010 financial year but reported an overall loss for the period.

Revenue was up 3% to $41.2m from $39.9m in the same period last year and the firm made an operating loss of $0.9m, compared to $7.3m in Q3 2009. Net loss for the quarter was $1.6m compared to $6.7m.

Bookings for the period were up 6%, excluding favourable currency impact, to $44.7m from $37.9m.

President and CEO Kimberly Till (pictured) said: “While I believe that we have made significant progress throughout this fiscal year in executing many of our key initiatives, as well as improving our overall financial performance, we still have more work to do to achieve greater revenue and profit growth. I believe that we have maintained an appropriate cost structure, so our primary focus right now is on building our revenue base, especially in the US.”

The firm saw its US revenue drop by 6% as a result of a “decline across several industry sectors”, the loss of a large tracking study and the reduction in size of another.

Elsewhere, Canadian revenue was up 3% and European operations (in the UK, France and Germany) were up 12%.

In local currency terms, however, revenue was up 45% in France and 21% in Germany due to business from new clients. In the UK revenue dropped 11% due to the decrease in scope of a large tracking study.

Asian revenue rose 63%, which Harris attributed to “stronger management and improved coordination of our selling efforts in the region”.

Till said: “I believe that the market research industry in the US has not returned to significant growth yet. Although we’re beginning to see signs of improvement, it appears that companies continue to be cautious about their market research expenditures as they wait for their own businesses to fully recover.”