NEWS30 June 2009

IQ Holdings reports £300,000 first half loss

Financials UK

UK— IQ Holdings, the owner of IQ Research, Viewpoint Field & Studios and Rossyln Research, has reported a loss for the first six months of its financial year but says it expects to be profitable in the second half.

The firm made a loss of £298,000 in the six months to 31 March 2009, compared to a slightly smaller loss of £258,000 in the same period last year. In a statement it described trading conditions as “very challenging”.

In its last full-year results, issued in April, IQ reported a £440,000 annual loss and revealed that discussions had been held with backers to secure additional financing. The company’s shares have fallen in value from 0.875p in September last year to 0.35p yesterday.

It said today that it expects to make a profit in the second half of the year, resulting in a “modest” full-year loss. Analyst GE&CR said the news was “most reassuring”.

Over the year the firm has taken cost-cutting measures across its businesses in an effort to get back to profitability as quickly as possible. Loss-making call centre operation The Wire, which IQ had hoped to turn around after buying it from Media Square, was shut down within weeks of the purchase, and cutbacks were made at IQ Research.

However the Viewpoint business, acquired at the same time as The Wire, remains “robust”, IQ said. As the largest part of the group Viewpoint “will drive the immediate and future revenues”, and is seeking to expand its client base. Viewpoint’s managing director Gale Blears was recently promoted to the IQ board, and the business is being integrated with Rossyln Research, which was acquired in 2007.

Chairman Tim Hearley said in a statement: “The company has been affected by the economic downturn and is likely to experience downward pressure on sales, but the directors have taken decisive actions to control costs to enable [IQ Holdings] to benefit from opportunities and the acquisitions made during the period. There is a strong foundation for the company to build upon towards the end of this year and moving into next year.”

IQ Research managing director Julian Green told Research the firm is “quietly confident” that profits for next year will be in the region of £300,000 to £400,000, in line with market expectations.