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NEWS6 March 2009

WPP chief points to consumer insight as ‘growth engine’

Financials

CEO Martin Sorrell talks up research capabilities as group reports full-year results

UK— WPP’s acquisition of TNS in November helped push full-year revenues in the Kantar Group, its information, insight and consultancy arm, up almost 44% to £1.3bn, the marketing services group revealed today.

Stripping out the effects of currency movements, revenue in the division increased 27.8% – “largely as a result of the acquisition of TNS”, WPP said. On a like-for-like basis, which excludes the two-month contribution from TNS, revenue was up 3%.

WPP described 2008 as “a year of two contrasting halves” and this was true of Kantar’s performance. Like-for-like growth was 5% in the first half, CFO Paul Richardson said, falling to a rate “just under 2%” in the final six months of the year.

The insight division’s headline profit before interest and tax increased 41% to £147.6m, but as a percentage of revenue this was down 0.2 margin points to 11.3%.

Kantar accounted for 17% of WPP’s £7.47bn group revenue for 2008, but with TNS added in, the insight division will make up around 27% of the total business going forward.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell described the group’s consumer insight capability as one of its “engines of growth”. He said the acquisition of TNS “gives us a major competitive advantage”.

Updating investors on the progress of the integration of TNS into Kantar, WPP said: “Our estimates of synergy benefits [£52m] are being met and in fact being added to. The cost benefits being identified will also be realised sooner than originally anticipated and the cost ratios will be in line with our original projections.”

Last week Kantar unveiled plans to merge TNS’s custom division with Research International and to form dedicated media, healthcare, retail and social research units by bringing together the relevant parts of TNS with other companies in the Kantar group. (You can read more about that here). TNS’s back office operations will also be folded into Kantar Operations, which provides back office support across the group.

Job losses are expected from the integration, but no figures have been given yet on how many staff will be affected.

WPP said cuts had already been made across the marketing services group in the fourth quarter to bring its year-end like-for-like headcount growth to 1.3% – down from an average like-for-like headcount growth of 3.9%.

“Headcount fell through a mixture of non-replacement, the attrition rate and increased severance,” WPP said.

Author: Brian Tarran

@RESEARCH LIVE

2 Comments

10 years ago

But because of some steps from WPP in India aslo so many people lost there life and there job and lose there business like me I am a vedor for IMRB internationa from last 10 years but now they have stoped out sourcing in field we have a staff of 15 people in mumbai now they dont have work.. and they are working with us from last 8-10 year what they will do now... MB has taken out from IMRB because of that there is no work with IMRB because of there internal issues lot many people are suffering and only some of them are making money from them... I dont know why they are doing this but still I feel that IMRB is the best option for MB...

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10 years ago

Its use less if only company is growing you should think how people also can grow with them

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