NEWS3 November 2009

InfoGroup sees further decline in MR revenue

Financials North America

US— InfoGroup’s marketing research revenue fell 16% to $24m for the third quarter of 2009, with an operating loss of $700,000 for the division compared to operating income last year of $1.4m.

Sales for the division – which includes Opinion Research Corporation, NWC and Guideline – were down 2.9% quarter on quarter, in contrast to the data and services arms of InfoGroup, which reported sequential improvements.

“Of all the various segments in marketing spend, research has probably been hit the hardest,” said CEO Bill Fairfield. He expressed hope that the MR business would gain in strength towards the end of the year.

Overall group revenue was $125m, down 14%, while operating income was $9.4m and net profit was $4.8m. The firm made an operating loss of $12.4m in Q3 last year and a net loss of $8.6m, but figures included restructuring and non-recurring charges of $27.6m.

Similar charges for Q3 2009 came in at $9.3m, of which $4m was for restructuring costs and $2m was for legal and professional fees related to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation of the company’s spending and accounting practices (now nearing settlement).

Meanwhile, Fairfield declined to make any further comment on a local press report over the weekend that claimed at least 33 companies were ready to go through InfoGroup’s books with a view to making an offer to buy the company.

InfoGroup had earlier issued a statement to say no decision has been made to sell the business.