NEWS30 July 2010

Q1 momentum carries over into Q2 – Nielsen reports revenue up 7%

Financials North America

US— Nielsen finance chief Brian West today reported a “very solid” second quarter for the consumer and media research business, with revenue up 7% to $1.27bn.

In the ‘watch’ business line – the media measurement arm – revenue increased 7.2% to $432m, with growth primarily driven by a mid-single digit volume increase in US TV audience measurement and double-digit improvements in mobile and online, offsetting a 5% decline in international TV work.

Operating income was down slightly on last year at $85m. Nielsen said the revenue performance discussed above was “more than offset by increases in costs associated with three-screen measurement initiatives, a $6m increase in depreciation and amortisation associated with technology infrastructure initiatives and Local People Meters” and higher share-based compensation expenses.

The ‘buy’ business performed somewhat better, with revenue up 9.2% to $800m. Information services revenue – which covers Nielsen’s retail measurement and consumer panel businesses – was up 5.8% to $564m thanks to the continued expansion of retail measurement and consumer panel services in developing markets. Developed markets were flat.

Insight services, meanwhile, was up 18.3% to $236m, which West attributed to double-digit gains across both developed and developing markets due to a surge in demand for product forecasting, modelling and other analytics services. Operating income increased 13.5% to $118m.

The balance of Nielsen’s total revenues ($38m) is generated by its expositions business.

Summing up, West said the momentum generated in the first quarter had carried over into the second. “Clients continue to show willingness to spend and build their brands across high-growth markets, while investing in analytics to look around the corner and find some growth in developed markets,” he said.