FRANCE – Ipsos has reported revenues of €1.8bn for 2020, a decrease of 8.3% compared with the year before, with revenue picking up in the fourth quarter.

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Revenue fell 6.5% on a like-for-like basis in 2020, including a negative exchange rate effect of 2.5% and a 0.8% positive effect from the acquisitions of Maritz’s mystery shopping arm and Askia.

Ipsos’ revenue remained stable in the first three months of 2020 but collapsed in the second quarter, with a 25.3% drop in organic growth, according to the company’s full-year financial statement.  

Following a 3.3% decline in the third quarter, organic growth returned to positive at 1.4% between October and December.

Gross margin (revenue less deducting direct variable and external costs) was 64.2% in 2020 compared with 64.3% in 2019. 

Its ‘clients and employees’ research was hardest hit during 2020, with revenue down 21% and the company saying it is “suffering the consequence” of Covid-19 affecting sectors including car manufacturing, airlines and hotels

The company’s consumer work, which accounts for the largest proportion of revenue ( 42%), was also down 12.5% at the end of the year.  

Meanwhile, its ‘citizens’ line, covering public affairs and corporate reputation, saw organic growth of 29.5%, and revenue from pharmaceutical work also increased, with growth of 4%.

By region, revenue was down 12% in the Americas and 14% in Asia-Pacific, while the Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) region posted organic growth of 2%.

In its financial statement, Ipsos said: “For Ipsos, the opening months of 2021 were in line with the closing months of 2020.

“Average business performance is positive, both in terms of the order book and revenue, even if these indicators show very mixed performances across regions, audiences and business sectors.”

The company was able to overhaul its approaches by drawing on technology in 2020, it said, adding: “In 2021, and over the coming years, Ipsos will actively promote various platforms that make it possible to produce and analyse with greater speed and flexibility large quantities of data.”