NEWS27 February 2020

Ipsos 2019 revenue exceeds €2bn but warns on Coronavirus effect for 2020

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FRANCE – Market research business Ipsos has reported revenues of more than €2bn in 2019 – its highest ever and a 14.5% increase on the previous year.

For 2019 its organic growth was 3.8% at constant exchange rates – the best annual performance since 2011. Asia Pacific grew the most ( 7%), Americas was up 4% with EMEA on 2% growth.

Its Q4 revenue was more than €600m, up 12.1% on the €535.6m in Q4 2018.

Ipsos said the strong performance in Q4 2019 was a result of its Total Understanding project which kicked off in July 2018.

"Thanks to this new organisation, Ipsos is better positioned to meet the needs of a very large number of public and private companies and institutions, and to generate information that is reliable, clear, usable, offers a competitive edge or, in any event, is conducive to better decision-making," it said in its financial statement.

Ipsos completed its purchase of four global divisions of GfK’s custom research business: customer experience; experience innovation; health; and public affairs for €105m in October 2018. Ipsos posted €30m in revenue in 2018 which increased to €175m in 2019 and should reach €200m in full-year 2020.

Ipsos said the profitability of these divisions was below the Ipsos Group average in 2018 and 2019 but should converge with it in 2020.

Its acquisitions of Maritz Mystery Shopping business and Askia – announced earlier this year – will be integrated in the group accounts from February 2020.

In terms of outlook, Ipsos warned that the Coronavirus outbreak could have an effect and "raises several questions about 2020 activity".

In its financial statement it expanded: "It is not possible at this stage to make reliable forecasts since the sequence of events is uncertain.This is true for markets, Ipsos clients and Ipsos itself. It is likely that, in each country where a strict or more relaxed quarantine is imposed, be this only for a few days or a few weeks, there will be a slowdown in economic activity, the needs for priority information will be reassessed and investment programmes rescheduled."

Ipsos said there could be a financial impact in China for at least the first six months of 2020. In 2019, the Chinese market represented 7.5% of its revenue.

However, looking forward it said its 2020 targets of organic growth of 2-4% and an improved operating margin of more than 10% is attainable.