NEWS24 April 2020

Ipsos posts slight Q1 revenue increase

Covid-19 Europe Financials News

FRANCE – Ipsos has posted revenue of €428.7m for the first quarter of 2020, up 1.6% on the same period last year, but profitability is down due to the impact of Covid-19 on business.

The acquisitions of the mystery shopping division of Maritz and Askia had a positive effect ( 0.8%), however year-on-year revenue was flat on a constant currency basis.

Revenue from services targeted at groups, including clients and employees, was down 5%, while consumer research was down 1.5%. Both were hit by impacts relating to Covid-19, Ipsos said in the results statement.

Conversely, two audience segments linked to the pandemic grew in the first quarter. The company’s citizens audience segment, which includes public affairs and corporate reputation, saw organic growth of 10%. Research relating to doctors and patients grew by 3.5%, driven by activity from pharmaceutical companies, according to Ipsos.

Growth fell 10% in the Asia-Pacific region in Q1 due to the negative performance of the company’s business in China caused by the earlier lockdown. Growth in the Americas was strong, particularly in the US, where business grew by 5%. Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw slight growth of 0.5%.

Ipsos said profitability was down around 100 basis points year-on-year as a result of slower business from mid-March, however free cash flow from operating activities was in line with forecasts for the first quarter.

New orders were down 10% during the first three weeks of April, and the net order book (new orders net of cancellations and postponements during the period) was at 40% of its level during the same period in 2019.

The company announced cost saving measures at the beginning of April, including a freeze on recruitment and planned salary increases.