NEWS11 October 2010

YouGov ‘confident’ despite £9.6m pre-tax loss

Financials UK

UK— YouGov has posted a pre-tax annual loss of £9.6m following a write-down in the value of its German business – but the firm said it had otherwise performed “in line with expectations” for the year ending 31 July.

Group turnover for the period dipped slightly to £44.2m from £44.3m last year, but adjusted operating profit was up to £3.8m from £3.1m. Adjusted profit before tax was up marginally to £4m from £3.9m.

The reported pre-tax loss of £9.6m included a goodwill impairment charge of £7.9m relating to its German subsidiary. Revenue in Germany dropped 7% to £13.8m, which reflected the closure of the firm’s loss-making Austrian operation. YouGov said that the performance in Germany was judged to be “sufficiently severe to indicate impairment to the carrying value” of the business.

The loss also included £1.8m of exceptional items, including costs related to the acquisition of Harrison Group in the US, employment termination costs following the departure of Nadhim Zahawi (who has been elected as an MP) and a change in accounting estimates for panel incentive costs in the UK.

YouGov said that revenue in the UK was up £1m to £12.1m while operating profits rose 60% to £3.4m. US revenue grew 39% to £4.8m and operating profit “more than doubled” to £0.5m. In the Middle East revenue dropped 14% from £8.4m to £7.2m and operating profits fell from £2.8m to £1.4m. The firm said that this revenue drop was expected and linked to the reduction of a major long-term contract. However, locally generated business in the region was up 30%.

Scandinavia posted a profit of £0.1m following the restructure in 2009, but revenue fell 6% to £7m. The firm said that the Scandinavian business, which is now entirely online, is structured to achieve “good margins” in the region.

CEO Stephan Shakespeare (pictured) said: “Market conditions are showing signs of improving and the momentum seen in the second half has continued into the current year. Trading is in line with the board’s expectations and this, combined with our strong balance sheet and good cash generation, gives us confidence for the future.”