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Wednesday 19 December 2018

YouGov profits soar amid strategic shift

The group’s shift to higher margin products and international markets is paying off.

Pre-tax profits rose 49% to £11.8 million in the year to the end of July (Danny Lawson/PA)
Pre-tax profits rose 49% to £11.8 million in the year to the end of July (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter

Pollster YouGov has seen annual profits jump nearly 50% as a strategic shift to real-time data analytics paid off, while its boss said it could stand to gain from Brexit uncertainty.

The group said its shift from a traditional market research model to a model based on subscription to its products and services had bolstered profit margins.

Chief executive Stephan Shakespeare said the company’s increasingly international spread of revenues would help it to “cope with, or even gain from, potential volatility” as a result of Brexit.

Pre-tax profits rose 49% to £11.8 million in the year to the end of July.

Revenue jumped 9% to £116.6 million on the back of strong growth in the data products and services divisions.

In data products, which includes brand tracking service BrandIndex, revenue was 26% higher.

We are opening new routes to growth, whether that be through scaling our offering in new markets or launching new applications like YouGov Direct which champions privacy in the GDPR age Stephan Shakespeare, chief executive

Data services, which is largely comprised of YouGov Omnibus, reported revenue that was 24% higher.

This was partly offset by custom research, in which revenue declined by 3% despite new contract wins with customers such as Revlon and Ikea.

This reflected YouGov’s efforts to expand data products and services, which have a much higher margin.

Gross margin was up from 80% the year before to 82%.

Mr Shakespeare said: “Increasingly, our clients are demanding the rapid analysis of data in real-time, and through targeted investments in technology we have built a data engine which serves the modern marketer.

“However, as the technology of decision-making evolves, so must our products and applications. As we continue to invest in our future we are opening new routes to growth, whether that be through scaling our offering in new markets or launching new applications like YouGov Direct which champions privacy in the GDPR age.”

The group has also focused on expanding internationally.

The US remains the largest profit generator, with adjusted operating profit up 78%.

Press Association

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