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23 Mar 2021 | 16:24

YouGov turns in positive first half performance

(Sharecast News) - Research and information company YouGov reported revenue growth of 3% in its first half on Tuesday, with underlying growth of 9% to £79m, and a "solid" sales pipeline said to be weighted towards the second half of the financial year. The AIM-traded firm said statutory operating profit was down 22% year-on-year for the six months ended 31 January at £7.4m, which the board said was impacted by an increase in deferred consideration on the back of better-than-expected performance of its prior acquisitions.

Underlying operating profit, excluding the impact of the planned Kurdistan closure and foreign exchange movements, was up 15%, representing an underlying operating profit margin of 14.2%.

YouGov said that growth was achieved despite absorbing an increased non-cash share-based payment charge of £2.5m, compared to £0.9m in the first half of the 2020 financial year.

Adjusted profit before tax, excluding exceptional costs and a share-based payment charge, was 13% firmer at £13.6m, with adjusted earnings per share rising 11% to 9.7p.

The company reported "strong" cash conversion at 92%, down from 93% 12 months prior, as it said it maintained its 'robust' balance sheet position, with net cash at period end rising slightly to £27.5m from £27.2m a year earlier, and no debt.

"We are extremely pleased with our performance in the first half as we continued to deliver against our strategy and demonstrate our resilience," said chief executive officer Stephan Shakespeare.

"During the period, our focus remained on providing connected data solutions, valuable opinions and consumer insights to our clients across the globe.

"We continue to innovate to better serve our clients and their changing needs."

Shakespeare noted the company had expanded its 'YouGov Direct' offering, integrated it with 'YouGov Chat' and 'YouGov Safe', and further expanded its panels to 15 more countries.

"We have entered the second half with confidence buoyed by growing new and existing client demand for our syndicated data products augmented by long-term custom trackers.

"The second half has started well and current trading is in line with Board expectations for the full year."

At 1512 GMT, shares in YouGov were up 0.71% at 987p.
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