YouGov's hikes its dividend and profits jump 27 per cent

Francesca Washtell
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A voter places his voting card in the ba
YouGov is one of the world's biggest online pollsters and is cited frequently in the run-up to referendums and elections (Source: Getty)

Shares in YouGov were up more than three per cent this morning after the pollster posted double-digit turnover and upped its divi by 40 per cent.

The figures

Group revenue increased 16 per cent to £88.2m in the year to 31 July, up from £76.1m last year.

That was driven by impressive growth in several of its segments, including a 39 per cent rise in its BrandIndex arm, which tracks public perceptions of thousands of brands across the world, and a 32 per cent uplift in its data products and services revenues.

Turnover in its Omnibus opinions and behaviours branch grew 30 per cent, while custom research increased by a more modest nine per cent.

Read more: They love us really: YouGov survey finds Scots favour UK over EU

Adjusted operating profit grew 27 per cent to £10.9m and adjusted earnings per share were up 26 per cent to 8.8p.

YouGov has recommended its dividend increase 40 per cent to 1.4p per share.

The company's stock was up 3.3 per cent in morning trading, at 220p.

YouGov YouGov | mobile image

Why it's interesting

The polling group raised hopes for its annual performance in August, with an update saying it had benefited from the post-Brexit vote fall in sterling.

Revenues from its US and Middle East operations had grown strongly, the company said at the time. Today YouGov said the US was its largest market by revenue, though its core and newer markets have all performed well.

Read More: YouGov: Why you should still trust our research

The lift came despite repeated questions over the effectiveness of polling in the UK. Polls taken before both last year's general election and the EU referendum indicated markedly different results compared with the eventual outcome.

Chief executive Stephan Shakespeare said current trading was in line with expectation.

Read more: Why the same flaws afflict economic data as political opinion polls

What YouGov said

Shakespeare said:

YouGov has delivered strong growth in revenue and profit. The expansion in our global data products and services such as YouGov BrandIndex and YouGov Omnibus demonstrates their standalone strength and also the further potential benefits to clients that we can offer by bringing all of our data together in the YouGov Cube.

We are continuing our journey towards becoming a global data and analytics business and this will remain the focus of our investment in our technology and staff resources.

What analysts said

Fiona Orford-Williams, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said:

Very strong figures from YouGov show the effectiveness of its strategy to develop its data and analytics-based business model and build high quality recurring revenue streams.

While Big Data opportunities are legion, YouGov has ‘connected big data’ from its large international panel. allowing its clients to get a much more holistic view of their own customers.

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