NEWS9 January 2024

Kantar tops MRS league tables

Financials News Trends UK

UK – Kantar is the largest UK market research company by turnover, according to league tables published in the Research Live Industry Report 2024, with a 9.9% rise in UK turnover among the top 100 agencies.


The report, which is published today ( 9th January) by the Market Research Society (MRS), found that the UK market research industry as a whole was valued at £9bn, and the 9.9% growth year-on-year in UK turnover for the top 100 agencies in 2022 was up from 6.7% in 2021 and 0.8% in 2020.

You can download the report here.

UK turnover at the top 100 agencies was at £4.8bn, up from £4.5bn in 2021, with only 17 of the top 100 reporting a decline in turnover in 2022, growth rates keeping pace with or exceeding inflation and an average of 3% growth expected in 2024 for the research industry.

The 17 companies with falling turnover among the top 100 firms was the lowest total since at least 2015, and compared favourably with the 34 companies that saw turnover fall in 2019, 54 in 2020 and 25 in 2021.

The data in the 2024 report and league tables is based on financial data from 2022 analysed in November 2023.

Kantar maintained its first place in the league tables despite a 15.5% fall in turnover in 2022 to a total of £396.2m.

The rest of the largest research firms included Ipsos in second place, followed by Gartner, Wood Mackenzie and Dunnhumby, all of which were unchanged from the 2023 report, with Euromonitor, Mintel, GlobalData, CACI and Verint Systems rounding out the top 10.

The fastest-growing individual agency was Economist Intelligence/EIU, which had a growth rate of 86.8% in 2022.

The rest of the top 10 fastest-growing agencies included MMR Research Worldwide, GWI GlobalWebIndex, GlobalData, Yonder Consulting, Strat7 CrowdDNA, Information Services Group, Walnut Unlimited, Strat7 Jigsaw and Healthcare Research Worldwide.

The fastest-growing consolidated business was Strat7 Group, which saw turnover rise 191.4% in 2022. The MRS table of the top 50 consolidated businesses, which focuses on concentration of ownership of multiple agencies where it occurs, found that 28 had UK owners, 17 from the US, two from France, and one each from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In total, 50% of European research output was generated in the UK in 2022, according to the report.

The industry report also covered the gender pay gap, which was at 13.3% in favour of men in 2022, compared with the 14.3% UK business average.

Jane Frost, chief executive at MRS, said: “These figures present a really encouraging picture of growth and are a welcome start to 2024. At £9bn, our sector makes a significant contribution to the UK’s global competitiveness and this reflects our continuing innovation and productivity gains.

“While there’s still a sense of caution in the business community, there is clearly much to be excited about for our sector – from the progress we’re making on key issues to the potential of AI. As we head into an historic election year, we’re in a brilliant position to help leaders across public and private sectors to really understand the people they are trying to serve.”

Download the Research Live Industry Report 2024 report here.