Polling firm YouGov pays first divi as brand monitoring grows

ONLINE pollster YouGov yesterday announced its first dividend after benefiting from growth at its brand-monitoring business.

The Aim-listed company will pay investors 0.5p a share after growing revenues by four per cent to £58.1m in the year to 31 July. Profits were up six per cent at £5.6m.

YouGov made its name with political polling, with its online panel often proving to be more accurate than traditional interview-based competitors.

However much of its growth is now coming from other areas – revenues from its BrandIndex service, which monitors online perceptions of leading products, grew 39 per cent to £4.4m.

Chief executive Stephan Shakespeare, who writes a weekly column for City A.M., said the firm is “well placed to continue to outperform the research market both in terms of sales growth and our reputation for new product development”.

Despite this he admitted “there was some evidence, notably in the Nordics, of client demand being affected by the continuing economic uncertainties”.

The loss of a major Iraqi contract and a restructuring of its Germany business also restrained the firm’s revenue growth.

YouGov has a worldwide panel of more than 3m users, including 432,400 in the UK, who receive small payments in return for completing surveys.

Shakespeare set up the firm in 2000 with Nadhim Zahawi, now the Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon. They each retain a 10 per cent stake in the company.