TAYLOR NELSON SOFRES PLC
28 September 1999
Taylor Nelson Sofres acquires innovator in customer service development
Taylor Nelson Sofres, one of the world's leading market information
companies, announces that it has taken a 75 per cent holding (with options
over the remaining 25 per cent) in Scher International Ltd (Scher), a
specialist in customer service development.
Based in the UK, but working in 25 countries, Scher provides an innovative
combination of measurement, training and consultancy, designed to equip and
motivate staff to provide high levels of customer service. Specialising in
the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries, where its clients include
many leading organisations, its analysis is used by companies to evaluate
themselves against the market and their own brand standards. Stuart Scher,
Chairman and Clive Nicolaou, Managing Director, will remain with the company,
which has 25 full-time employees. Its turnover in 1998 was £1.1 million,
with net liabilities at 31 December 1998 of £38,755.
Scher's reputation in the hospitality industry is recognised by the British
Hospitality Association, which invited the company to design and manage the
UK's first customer service benchmarking system for hotels. The success of
this industry first has led to the extension of the system across hotels
around the world.
Tony Cowling, Executive Chairman, said:
'Scher has been a pioneer in developing customer satisfaction and
benchmarking in the tourism sector. With the ongoing globalisation of the
hospitality industry, the business has enormous scope to develop
internationally and we will be using the Taylor Nelson Sofres worldwide
network to realise this potential.
'This acquisition, together with our recent purchases of the largest Dutch
market information company NIPO and mystery shopping specialist WHF,
considerably strengthens the group's presence in the area of customer service
development. We expect to derive great benefit from an exchange of skills and
For further information, please contact:
Janis Parks, Investor Relations Manager +44 (0) 181 967 1584
Stuart Scher, Chairman, Scher International +44 (0) 171 691 2768
Margaret George, Citigate Dewe Rogerson +44 (0) 171 638 9571
Note to editors:
Through its international network of more than 100 offices in over 35
countries, Taylor Nelson Sofres provides market information services in over
80 countries to national and multi-national organisations. It is ranked as
the fourth largest market information group in the world.