First quarter of 2010
A return to growth: Revenues up 14.3% to 236.9 million euros
Paris, 11 May 2010. The three engines of growth at Ipsos fired into life in the first quarter of 2010. The strong growth enjoyed by the Company was the result of:
- positive currency effects for 1.9%;
- changes in the scope of activities which contributed 6.4%, reflecting the consolidation of OTX from 1 January and its excellent performances;
- a return to organic growth, which reached 6%, putting it ahead of the target of 3% to 5% that Ipsos has set for the year as a whole.
(millions of Euros)
In the first quarter of 2010, the vast majority of Ipsos’ clients married their actions to their words. Boosted by strong financial performances in 2009 they started once again to look forward, get their growth plans back on track and undertake ambitious research programmes, aimed in many cases at guiding their innovation policies but also to help control marketing expenditure. Naturally they pursued expansionary policies in emerging markets, where growth is real and expected to last, but this is not to say that they ignored developed markets where positions and market share need to be protected. They also continued to rationalise spending, and did not hesitate to take a fresh look at former practices and existing suppliers. The numerous competitive bids added the zest of new opportunities for well-placed companies with the ability to manage complex programmes that in many cases were multi-country and multiyear.
Against this positive background, Ipsos produced an excellent performance, drawing on the four sources of leverage that drive its policy of sustainable growth:
- The quality of its client relationships particularly, but not solely, with its largest clients,
- The expertise and commitment of its teams,
- Its determination to employ coherent methodologies producing useful, relevant and understandable results for its clients,
- And the real strength of its innovation effort, notably in the form of the creation of Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, its global R&D centre whose purpose is to speed up the implementation of the new services that the clients need.
Trends in business volumes by geographic area
In the first quarter of 2010, Ipsos saw growth in all markets, with stronger growth in emerging markets than in developed nations although it is worth noting that with total growth of 26% and organic growth of 8%, the performance in North America was exceptional after a difficult 2009.
|Q1 2009||% change||Organic growth|
|Asia-Pacific / Middle-East||27.4||21.6||+27%||+24%|
Trends in business volumes by business line
All business lines moved in the right direction, with the strongest performances coming in advertising research and marketing research; these both benefited from their clients’ return to a more aggressive stance towards management of their brands and their innovation policies.
|Q1 2010||Q1 2009||
|Opinion and Social Research||33.0||31.6||+4%||+0%|
|Customer and Employee Relationship
Other information about business activity over the first quarter of 2010
Operating margin was higher than in the first quarter of 2009, in line with the target for improvement announced by the Group.
Gearing stood at 39.8% on 31 March 2010, from 36.4% on 31 December 2009, following 45.6 million euros in financing of investment operations, most notably the acquisition of OTX in the USA.
Outlook for 2010
As the proverb has it, “one swallow does not make a summer”. The euro crisis, fuelled by growing investor awareness of the enormity of European public sector debt, demonstrates, if demonstration were needed, that the crisis that began in 2007 and worsened in 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, is not over yet. Optimists will say that a rebalancing of the world picture, with greater growth and wealth in emerging economies – notably those of Asia – will be a factor for widespread wealth creation. After all, the Chinese, Indians and all citizens of emerging economies will eventually become consumers keen to access new goods and services and thus contributing to general prosperity. Pessimists, meanwhile, will retort – backing their arguments with historical examples – that the financial spasms gripping developed nations are merely the reflection of a deep-seated crisis in western society and that their cultural and political consequences could be disastrous. The temptation to turn inward and the renewed vigour of nationalism are already factors and could, in the absence of strong political leadership, exacerbate the tensions between regions and nations.
Ipsos is confident in its ability to return to significant and profitable growth in 2010. The prevailing uncertainty makes it impossible to confirm that the rate of growth at Ipsos will be ahead of the targets
the Company set at the beginning of the year. We would, however, be disappointed if the Company did not confirm the good figures for the first few months of the year over the remaining quarters.
Upcoming release: 28 July 2010, first-half results
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