NEWS12 November 2009

‘Stability’ the watchword as Nielsen posts 1% Q3 revenue drop

Financials North America

US— Nielsen’s chief financial officer Brian West hailed “another quarter of stability” today as the ratings giant posted its results for Q3 and the first nine months of the year.

Overall, the firm reported a 1% drop in revenue to $1.25bn for the three months ended 30 September and a year-to-date drop of 4% to $3.61bn.

$582 million in impairment charges meant Nielsen reported an operating loss of $393m for the first three quarters, masking profits made in some business segments.

By segment during the third quarter, sales for consumer services research were $683m, a drop of 3.8% but a rise of 2.4% on a constant currency basis.

West (pictured) said that sales figures were up 2.5% in North America for this segment, while “nice progress” was being made in developing markets, such as Latin America and Asia Pacific which all saw moderate growth. Europe, however, had been “flat” during the quarter, he said.

Media research sales during the quarter were up 11.2% to $486m, which the firm attributed to increased demand for TV audience measurement services. Within the media umbrella, entertainment sales declined 11.7% due to lower music industry revenue.

The media business posted a loss of $293 million for the period owing to restructuring and impairment charges. The consumer division, meanwhile, reported operating income of $84m, down 5% year-on-year.