YouGov reports 68% profit increase in UK market

LONDON - Online market research agency YouGov has reported a 68% growth in first half profit to £3.2m in the UK, and said momentum has continued into the second half of the year.

UK profits are up by £1.9m for the six months ended January 31, from the same period last year, which the company attributes to the winning of new clients and increased client spending. Its client base has increased from 180 to 263 for the six months to 31 January this year.

The company's overall turnover from all sectors was up 61% to £6.1m for the same period, this included a 53% increase in revenue in the Middle East to £2.9m.

Nadhim Zahawi, CEO of YouGov, said the strong growth was due to product development, geographical expansion and acquisitions.

He said: "The UK business has continued to deliver good organic growth. The integration of acquisitions is going well with the benefits of the acquisition of Siraj coming through and our stake in Polimetrix opening up the important US market."

YouGov acquired Siraj in the Middle East in July 2006 and subsequently bought a 32% stake in Polimetrix in December.

The company also announced a 51:49 joint venture, in YouGov's favour, with Carole Stone's network of business executives, academics, politicians and media commentators.

YouGovStone will develop Stone's business to create its own opinion leader specialist panels to undertake bespoke research.

Stone will be managing director of the new venture and will be supported by an advisory board. The board includes Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot Group; John Gordon, chief executive of media intelligence company Xtreme Information; Dr Liz Nelson, founder of market research company Taylor Nelson; and Mary Teresa Rainey, founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

Stone said: "I am delighted to be embarking on such an exciting venture with YouGov. I believe that the views and opinions of our combined networks will provoke and inform the debate on a host of important topics across the UK."