YouGov warns profits hit by UK shortfall - MoneyAM
Online market research company YouGov has warned that first-half profits will be 'significantly below market expectations' following disappointing UK new business growth alongside higher staff costs.
Revenue for the six months to 31 January is expected to be 20% higher than last year but only 4% up in constant currency terms.
'This growth rate is below the board's expectations due particularly to much weaker than anticipated new business in the UK, although there has been good growth in a number of markets, notably Germany and the USA,' says YouGov.
During 2008 the group made substantial investments in innovation and new product development, resulting in an increased headcount.
'While the cost base has remained within budget for the period, the revenue shortfall will result in profits for the half year being significantly below market expectations.'
Chief executive Nadhim Zahawi said, 'Innovation is at the very core of our business and we believe that despite the difficult trading conditions, which we are monitoring very closely, prudent investment in the business remains in the best long-term interests of our shareholders.
'We are in a strong financial position, profitable, debt free and cash generative. Looking forward, we want to ensure that we capitalise on our competitive market positioning.'
YouGov says its financial position remains strong with substantial cash balances expected to be higher at the end of the half year than at 31 July 2008.