YouGov hit by downturn in Middle East

POLLSTER YouGov yesterday posted a slide in profits and turnover and highlighted new products it said would help reverse its fortunes.

Adjusted pre-tax profit was £1.4m for the half year to the end of January – 41 per cent down on the same period the year before. Turnover was £21.3m compared with £22.6m, the company said in its trading statement.

YouGov, which will provide poll updates during the general election campaign, suffered an £800,000 reduction in revenue from a large contract in the Middle East.

The company said the results were in line with expectations in a difficult market and that a cost-cutting programme was helping to get the business into better shape.

It also tipped its new technology and products to drive the firm forward and to boost full-year profits.

However, shares in the company dipped by six per cent after the interim figures were announced.

Chief executive Stephan Shakespeare said: “YouGov has performed as expected during the first half and continues to lead innovation in the market.

“Good performances in the UK, Germany and US have helped to offset the expected decline in revenue from the Middle East and the under-performance in Scandinavia where our remedial action has put the business on track to be profitable in the second half.

“Our new technology platform has been rolled out to all our hubs and we are already seeing the benefits coming through with the launch of daily polling in the UK and our pioneering new TellYouGov website.”

The firm also launched Sixth Sense, its business intelligence service in March.

It offers detailed reports on a raft of companies and institutions using YouGov research as well as other specialist data sources and expert views.

The company’s figures also showed that operating profit jumped in the UK while other markets suffered.