Source - RNS
RNS Number : 2918H
YouGov PLC
24 March 2020
 

24 March 2020

YouGov plc

 

("YouGov" or the "Group")

 

Trading Update for the six months to 31 January 2020

 

YouGov plc (LSE: YOU) the international research and data analytics group, in accordance with the announcement by the FCA on 22 March 2020 and subsequent FRC guidance in which it was requested all listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of interim financial statements, will not be releasing results for the half year ended 31 January 2020 today as scheduled. Today the Group issues a Trading Update for the period and a full announcement will be made in due course.

 

Financial highlights

 

· Revenue growth up by 16% to £76.9m (HY 2019: £66.5m), with underlying business1 growth of 15%

· Adjusted operating profit2 up by 35% to £11.4m (HY 2019: £8.4m), with underlying business1 growth of 34%

· Adjusted profit before tax3 up by 27% to £12.1m (HY 2019: £9.5m)

· Adjusted earnings per share4 up by 35% to 8.7p (HY 2019: 6.4p)

· Adjusted operating profit margin5 up 2 percentage points to 15% (HY 2019: 13%)

· Statutory operating profit up 13% to £9.5m (HY 2019: £8.4m)

· Strong cash conversion of 93%

· Cash balances of £27.2m (31 January 2019: £25.0m)

 

Operational highlights

 

· Data Products & Services revenue up by 17% to £43.4m (17% from underlying business1); now representing 55% of total revenue (HY 2019: 54%):

Data Products revenue increased by 29% (27% from underlying business1) to £25.1m

Data Services revenue increased by 3% (7% from underlying business1) to £18.3m, offset by restructuring in the Nordics, non-recurring election work in Asia Pacific and soft performance in Germany

· Custom Research revenue increased by 12% to £33.9m (11% from underlying business1):

Continued strategic focus on higher margin work resulted in a 19% increase in operating profit to £8.0m

· US remains the largest driver with adjusted operating profit increasing by 20% to £9.3m

· Further investment in building and developing our panels in Australia, India, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain and Taiwan

 

1 Defined as growth in business excluding impact of current and prior period acquisitions and movement in exchange rates.

2 Defined as operating profit excluding separately reported items.

3 Defined as profit before tax before share based payment charges, imputed interest and separately reported items.

4 Defined as earnings per share before the post-tax impact of share based payment charges, imputed interest and separately reported items.

5 Defined as adjusted operating profit expressed as a percentage of revenue.



 

Post-period highlights

 

· Strategic multi-year contract signed with a large international financial services company based in Germany

· Launched YouGov Recommend+, an NPS and brand tracking service making full use of YouGov's data assets

· Panel expansion underway to include Austria, Brazil, Switzerland and Turkey

 

COVID-19

 

· No material impact to our business to-date from the COVID-19 global outbreak, however it is too early to estimate what impact it may have on client budgets over the coming months

 

Stephan Shakespeare, Chief Executive, said:

 

"Our time-tested business model has enabled YouGov to deliver a strong performance in the reporting period as we continued to invest for growth and remained focused on executing against our second five-year plan.

 

This year YouGov marks 20 years of service to our clients, providing them with valuable opinion data and consumer insights to help them better understand their markets. We remain committed to creating innovative solutions for our clients by leveraging the data and insights gathered from our proprietary global panel of more than 9.5m people.

 

We are yet to see any material impact to our business from the global outbreak of COVID-19, however the situation is highly unpredictable and no-one can be confident that markets will not be disrupted. In light of the current macro-economic uncertainty, we are undertaking contingency planning and reviewing costs. We recognise it is inevitable that some of our clients will be impacted by COVID-19. In the event the disruption caused by COVID-19 prolongs, there is a risk some of our clients may default or request longer payment terms. However, with strong cash balances and no debt, we are confident of YouGov's resilience in the face of any weakening client demand.

 

YouGov's key priority in these unprecedented times is the health and safety of our employees, panellists and business partners. We are doing everything we can to keep in close contact with our clients, including the launch in the coming week of a free weekly report on the changing trends we are seeing across all our data collection. YouGov employees are accustomed to remote and flexible working, with most parts of our business already operating as 'virtual teams' across the world. Being able to effectively work and support our clients from wherever we are is all part of being an online business."

 

Forward looking statements

 

Certain statements in this Trading Update are forward looking. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. As these statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward looking statements.

 

We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



 

Enquiries:

YouGov plc

Stephan Shakespeare / Alex McIntosh

 

020 7012 6000

FTI Consulting

Charles Palmer / Elena Kalinskaya / Leah Dudley 

 

020 3727 1000

Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD and broker)

Nick Westlake / Matt Lewis / Hugo Rubinstein

020 7260 1000

 

 

 

 

 


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