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Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 19 March, 2001

Taylor Nelson Sofres

Final Results

Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC
19 March 2001

                           Taylor Nelson Sofres plc

                     A world leader in market information

                    Global network delivers strong growth

Highlights for the year ended 31 December 2000

  - Turnover up 25.8% to £479.3m, with underlying growth of 11.5%, ahead of
  - Profit before tax* up 16.5% to £37.8m from £32.5m
  - Earnings per share* up 18.7% to 7.0p from 5.9p
  - Operating margin* increases to 9.3% from 8.9%, after rise in development
  - Acquisitions strengthen fast growing media monitoring sector
  - Business mix continues to move in favour of higher margin activities
  - Continuing investment in technology gives competitive advantage
    * before goodwill amortisation

Chairman, Tony Cowling, said:

'Our results clearly demonstrate the group's ability to deliver ongoing
profitable growth from continuing operations, while at the same time deriving
the anticipated synergies and operational improvements from companies new to
the group.

'We will continue to pursue our strategic aims with vigour. We are not
currently seeing any evidence of slowdown in our market and, while it is
possible that certain sectors may come under economic pressure, we believe
that our global network, sector spread and business mix will enable us to
maintain our record of strong growth. We have started the year well and look
ahead with confidence.'

For further information, please contact:

On 19 March, all enquiries to +44 (0)20 7638 9571


Tony Cowling, Chairman

+44 (0)1372 825903

Mike Kirkham, Chief Executive Designate

+44 (0)20 8967 4022

David Lowden, Finance Director

+44 (0)20 8967 4009

Janis Parks, Investor Relations Manager

+44 (0)20 8967 1584

Margaret George, Citigate Dewe Rogerson

+44 (0)20 7638 9571

Email to: [email protected]

A webcast of the results presentation made to analysts will be available on
the Investor Centre of the group's website, at, from 18.00 on
Monday 19 March 2001.

Note to editors

Taylor Nelson Sofres

Through its international network in more than 50 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.
Further information on Taylor Nelson Sofres is available from the corporate

Preliminary results

Taylor Nelson Sofres, a world leader in market information, today announces
its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2000.

Turnover on a reported basis increased by 25.8 per cent to £479.3 million

(1999 £380.9 million). Underlying turnover (excluding the effect of currency
and acquisitions) was up by 11.5 per cent, well ahead of the estimated 8 per
cent growth for the market information industry as a whole. In the second
half, underlying turnover grew by 13.4 per cent compared with the same period
in the previous year.

Operating profit before goodwill amortisation was up 30.7 per cent at £44.4
million (1999 £34.0 million). The operating margin continued to increase,
within the group's targeted range for the year, moving from 8.9 per cent to
9.3 per cent. This improvement resulted from continued success in building
higher margin syndicated services, organically and by acquisition, while
driving through efficiency gains across the group. These achievements were
realised in a year when the group increased its level of development
expenditure from 2 to 3 per cent of turnover. Margin improvement remains one
of the group's key financial objectives and, this year, it expects to improve
margins by around 0.5 to 0.75 per cent, while maintaining current levels of
investment into the business.

Profit before tax and goodwill amortisation grew by 16.5 per cent from £32.5
million to £37.8 million. After goodwill amortisation of £5.4 million compared
with £1.4 million in 1999, profit before tax rose by 4.4 per cent to £32.4
million (1999 £31.1 million). Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation
were 7.0p, an increase of 18.7 per cent over the 5.9p achieved in the previous

The net interest charge was £7.8 million, compared with £2.4 million in 1999.
The higher interest charge results from a combination of increased borrowings,
to fund the acquisition programme, and a rise in worldwide interest rates. It
includes notional interest of £0.6 million in respect of deferred
consideration on acquisitions, which the group is required to recognise under
FRS 7. Interest cover, excluding notional interest, was 5.4x compared with
13.6x in the previous year. The effective tax rate before goodwill
amortisation was 30.7 per cent, compared with 32.0 per cent in 1999.

The board recommends a final dividend of 1.4p per share (1999 1.2p), giving a
16.7 per cent increase in the total dividend for the year of 2.1p (1999 1.8p).

Commenting on the year's results and future strategy, Chairman Tony Cowling

'Our results clearly demonstrate the group's ability to deliver ongoing
profitable growth from continuing operations, while at the same time deriving
the anticipated synergies and operational improvements from companies new to
the group.

'In 2000, the success of our strategy showed through strongly, as we achieved
underlying turnover growth ahead of the market, while continuing to reinforce
our global network and specialist sector presence through increased investment
and acquisition.

Network key to success

'We have one of the most powerful networks in the market information industry,
now extended to 52 countries, through a number of acquisitions made in 2000.
Our position in the US was significantly strengthened by the acquisition of
two companies supplying predominantly syndicated services. CMR, the largest
provider of advertising tracking services in the US, joined the group in June.
Later in the year, we added Wallace Marx, the leading US supplier of
competitive information on coupon promotion activity - a superb fit with CMR.

'This year, we have completed the acquisition of MDC Research Group, the
market leader in Finland with significant operations in Russia and the Baltic
States, providing us with a strong base in another developing region.

'It is notable how well companies perform when they become part of our group.
They benefit from being able to offer a global service to their clients and
they rapidly adopt Taylor Nelson Sofres' technologies and branded solutions,
to complement their existing range of skills.

NIPO is a prime example; already the leader in the Netherlands, it has gained
market share since joining us in 1999 and is performing above expectations.

Achieving strategic goals

'The network provides the foundation on which we build our specialist sector
operations into global businesses. During 2000, we moved ahead well with our
plans, most notably in media monitoring, which was significantly strengthened
by the additions of CMR and Wallace Marx.

'We are building on our expertise in market measurement by developing our
continuous and syndicated services, together with our branded solutions. In
2000, we again moved the balance of our business more in favour of higher
margin continuous and syndicated services, which operate mainly on long-term
contracts. These activities now account for 45 per cent of turnover. We have
extended our portfolio of branded products through the acquisition of
Conversion Model(TM), while at the same time refining and developing our highly
successful MIRIAD(TM) product, to offer clients consistent and cost effective
solutions to their marketing problems.

'We continue to invest in technology and the use of the internet in the
collection, analysis and delivery of data. This focus has given the group
distinct competitive advantage in many areas of operation. Our
internet-related activities are expanding as we introduce new products to
measure the effectiveness of all phases of e-business. With the growing
recognition among companies of the importance of market information in
developing their internet-related operations, client numbers are increasing
steadily in this area.

'The development of syndicated services and branded solutions, together with
advanced use of technology, are also important in that they represent
significant barriers to entry. They require high levels of investment and
expertise, which increasingly only leading companies are able to fund.

A steadily growing market

'The market information industry has been growing at a compound rate of 8 to 9
per cent for the past few years, driven by globalisation, sector expansion,
outsourcing and technological developments. The US still represents some 35
per cent of world sales and demand there continues to grow. However, the
market growth rate in the US and Western Europe is being outstripped by
Eastern Europe, Latin America and, even more so, by Asia. Our clear strategic
direction has given us a presence in the majority of the fast growing regions
and sectors of our industry.

'As we move into 2001, some nervousness is being expressed about economic
slowdown and how it will impact the market information business. Most external
commentators believe that our market will continue to grow at around 8 per
cent for the foreseeable future and we share that view. The evidence we have
indicates that our business is much less susceptible to short-term fluctuation
than, for example, the advertising industry.

'There are a number of reasons for this. Much of what we supply is continuous,
tracking information and not discretionary spend. Our experience is that, when
budgets are tight, clients seek more analysis of continuous data. It is also
important to note that, in our customised business, the majority of projects
are looking at customer satisfaction, loyalty and segmentation, as well as
brand choice. These are key areas for our clients, whatever the economic

At the forefront of consolidation

'The market information industry is going through a period of consolidation,
driven by the need to respond to the globalisation of our clients and the
increased cost of developing world class services. The industry's ongoing
growth has attracted a number of new entrants, including some of the major
advertising agencies. At the same time, specialist market information
companies such as Taylor Nelson Sofres have been expanding fast. We have made
24 acquisitions in the past three years and have shown that we are able to
integrate these operations rapidly and profitably.

Looking ahead with confidence

'With our record of successfully integrating acquisitions, we will continue to
focus on bringing carefully targeted new companies into the group, to support
our specialist sector expertise. We have a history of steady margin
improvement, which we expect to maintain, while at the same time building on
our leading position in the development of market information services,
internet usage and technology. We believe that by making appropriate levels of
investment into new developments, we can ensure long-term sustainable growth,
with improved operating performance.

'We have in place a strategy that has delivered ongoing profitable growth and
market outperformance. We will continue to pursue these strategic aims with
vigour. We are not currently seeing any evidence of slowdown in our market
and, while it is possible that certain sectors may come under economic
pressure, we believe that our global network, sector spread and business mix
will enable us to maintain our record of strong growth. We have started the
year well and look ahead with confidence.'



In another successful year for the group, turnover grew by 25.8 per cent to £
479.3m, with underlying growth (excluding the effect of currency and
acquisitions) ahead of the market information industry as a whole, at 11.5 per
cent. Acquisitions added 16.7 per cent to turnover, whereas currency had a
negative impact of 2.4 per cent.

Turnover growth in all regions
                                Year to 31 December             Increase
                                      2000          1999  Reported   Underlying

                                        £m            £m         %            %
     UK                              127.1         111.9      13.5          5.0
     France                           98.5          96.1       2.5          9.9
     Rest of Europe                  121.1          93.7      29.3         13.4

                                 ---------      --------
Europe                               346.7         301.7      14.9          9.2
Americas                              95.6          52.2      83.1         14.6
Asia Pacific                          37.0          27.0      37.0         29.9

                                 ---------      --------
Total                                479.3         380.9      25.8         11.5


In the UK, the group's Media and IT/Telecoms operations performed particularly
well, with the latter benefiting from multi-country tracking contracts. This
was achieved against a market that continues to grow at a slower rate than the
industry as a whole, mainly due to a reduction in the proportion of
international work commissioned through the UK in recent years. During the
year, the group undertook a major reorganisation of its UK customised business
to strengthen capabilities in Consumer and Business services. The new, more
streamlined structure gives these divisions the critical mass they require to
respond to client demands. The group has also introduced new products in
response to market needs, which will provide a solid basis for future growth.

Underlying growth of almost 10 per cent in France was also mainly fuelled by
the Media and IT/Telecoms sectors, together with internet-related activities.
However, reported figures were impacted by the continued weakness of the Euro
in 2000.

The rest of Europe showed even stronger underlying improvement of 13.4 per
cent, with a particularly good performance from the Dutch and German
businesses, both outperforming their markets with growth of around 20 per
cent. They benefited from a number of wins in the IT/Telecoms sector, as well
as high volumes of government and utilities work.

The Spanish operations performed well and in Scandinavia, ScanFact was
successfully merged with the group's Norwegian operation and the TV contracts
in Norway and Denmark came on stream.


In 2000, the group made three acquisitions in this region - CMR, Wallace Marx
and Gallup Argentina. It also set up a consumer panel joint venture,
Latinpanel, providing household purchase data across Argentina, Brazil and

Underlying improvement, at 14.6 per cent, was well ahead of the market, with
the US having a particularly strong second half, growing by 22.7 per cent
underlying, compared with the same period in the previous year.

TNS Intersearch continued to build on relationships with some of its largest
accounts and had important Media wins. The further success of MIRIAD led to
the addition of a number of new tracking studies and internet-related business
continued to increase.

Asia Pacific

There was excellent growth in most countries throughout the region. Of
particular note was the group's performance in China, where turnover almost
doubled. In December, the group announced the extension of its successful
association with Central Viewer Survey & Consulting Centre (CVSC), through the
proposed purchase of 46 per cent of the company. Work with CVSC, a subsidiary
of China's principal broadcaster, encompasses several sectors. In television
audience monitoring the joint venture has launched China's first national
panel and consumer panel coverage has expanded to fifteen cities, including
Beijing and Shanghai.

During 2000, the establishment of a panel in Malaysia further extended
consumer panel operations. Later in the year, piloting was started in the
Philippines and scanning was set up in Hong Kong. This is in addition to
already well-established panels in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.
The buoyancy of the Asian economy was reflected in the results of these
consumer panel operations.

A strong performance in Korea was assisted by election polling, together with
good growth in IT/Telecoms and Automotive, and Malaysia benefited from high
volumes in Telecoms.

Acquisitions add to good turnover performance in key sectors
                           Year to 31 December               Increase
                                 2000           1999     Reported   Underlying

                                   £m             £m            %            %

                          -----------     ----------  -----------  -----------
Consumer                        162.4          144.7         12.2          8.0
Media                           106.6           68.2         56.3         15.1
Business services                71.3           51.2         39.3         17.9
IT/Telecoms                      52.7           38.1         38.3         14.0
Healthcare                       35.1           31.8         10.4          8.9
Other activities                 51.2           46.9          9.2          7.9

                           ----------      ---------
Total                           479.3          380.9         25.8         11.5


In the UK, the size of the group's consumer panel, Superpanel, was increased
from 10,000 to 15,000 homes. This investment is successfully supporting the
ongoing growth of the business. The French Consoscan panel again performed
well, benefiting from the operational improvements made over the past two
years. The consumer panels in Asia Pacific continue to develop ahead of plan.


CMR has integrated well into the group and performed in line with expectations
at the time of acquisition. The group remains very satisfied with this high
quality company. In Europe, the French media monitoring business showed
double-digit growth and remains the market leader. TV operations in Europe
were strengthened by the new service in Norway and the extension of the Danish
contract. 2001 sees the start of activities in Singapore and Romania and the
recent acquisition of MDC adds Finland, Russia and the Baltic States.

Business services

The group recorded a very successful year in this area, with TNS Intersearch
in the US performing particularly well. The company won a number of contracts
related to the provision of continuous tracking in the transportation industry
and experienced high demand in financial services. Similar trends were seen in
Holland, which also recorded an increased level of work for government
agencies. Other regions to perform well included France and Germany, where the
deregulation of public utilities has presented many opportunities.

IT and Telecoms

The IT business continues to grow well, winning major multi-country contracts
with a number of new clients, using the group's branded solutions. While the
US remains the largest area of activity, several good client wins were
reported in France and the UK.

In Telecoms, the group saw particularly strong growth in the US, Asia Pacific
and Central Europe. INDETEC in the US successfully completed its transition to
a mainly syndicated business and saw improved growth in the second half.


During the year, the group widened the scope of its Monitor services by
covering new disease categories, and the US benefited from the relaunch of
SampleMonitor. In the UK, TraNSact, a weekly service tracking pharmacy
deliveries, was successfully launched. The service has developed a good client
base and will be extended in 2001. Internet research capability among
healthcare professionals was extended by acquiring a UK online doctor panel
and coverage is being widened in Europe and introduced into the US. These new
initiatives will increase the level of business derived from continuous and
syndicated services.

Other activities

This sector includes automotive research, polling and marketing activities.
The group saw a particularly strong performance in polling, with a number of
elections around the world.


Operating profit

Operating profit increased by 19.7 per cent to £39.0 million (1999 £32.6
million). Excluding goodwill amortisation, it rose by 30.7 per cent to £44.4
million (1999 £34.0 million). The group's operating margin excluding goodwill
amortisation showed an improvement from 8.9 per cent in 1999 to 9.3 per cent,
in line with the objective set at the beginning of 2000. This reflects ongoing
business efficiencies and the group's focus on higher margin syndicated and
tracking services, partially offset by an increased investment into the
business, from 2 to 3 per cent of turnover.


Income from associates at £1.2 million showed a marginal increase over 1999 (£
0.9 million), despite the increased expenditure on extending television
audience measurement in China. This investment will continue into 2001.


The effective tax rate before goodwill amortisation was 30.7 per cent,
compared with 32.0 per cent in 1999. The group's ability to reduce this
effective rate further will be impacted by changes announced in the UK budget
in 2000, together with the increasing proportion of profit derived from
outside the UK.

Minority interests

Minority interests reduced to £0.3 million (1999 £0.4 million), as the group
continued to acquire minority interests in a number of existing subsidiaries,
including Emnid in Germany.

Capital expenditure

Total capital expenditure for 2000 amounted to £20.0 million, of which £19.9
million related to tangible fixed assets and £0.1 million was the purchase of
intangibles. Cash realised from the sale of tangible fixed assets was £0.8

Net debt

The group had net debt of £152.0 million at the end of the year (1999 £63.6
million). The increase primarily results from the high level of acquisition
activity in the year. During 2000, a new debt facility of £250 million was
arranged to provide greater capacity for acquisitions and more flexibility in
managing debt. Unutilised facilities of £96 million are available. All prior
committed facilities were cancelled at the start of the new facility.

Cash flow and cash funds

Net cash inflow from operating activities was £55.9 million, compared with £
38.6 million in 1999. The net cash outflow for acquisitions during the year
was £94.7 million (1999 £38.7 million). Nearly all this additional cash
requirement was funded by borrowings, with the remainder coming from existing
cash. Cash at the end of the year was £19.5 million. Surplus cash is invested
on the money market only with leading banks and institutions, in short-term
deposits and instruments.


During the year, the group continued to make acquisitions in line with its
strategy to reinforce specialist sectors and to broaden global reach.
Acquisitions included Competitive Media Reporting and Wallace Marx &
Associates in the US, PIAR in Turkey and SIAR in the Caucasus (75 per cent),
Radar Research Services in the UK (60 per cent), Gallup Argentina and
Teleseker in Israel (51 per cent). The group also announced the proposed
acquisitions of CVSC in China (46 per cent) and Customer Equity Company in
South Africa (75 per cent), which provides Conversion Model.


The results of the group as extracted from the audited financial statements
are shown on the following pages.


for the year ended 31 December

                                                        Notes     2000     1999

Turnover                                                            £m       £m
Continuing activities                                            451.9    380.9
Acquisitions                                                      27.4        -

                                                              --------- --------
                                                            2    479.3    380.9
Cost of sales                                                   (170.7)  (133.7)

                                                              --------- --------
Gross profit                                                     308.6    247.2
Administrative expenses excluding goodwill amortisation         (264.2)  (213.2)
Goodwill amortisation                                             (5.4)    (1.4)
Administrative expenses                                         (269.6)  (214.6)

                                                              ---------- -------
Operating profit
Continuing activities (after goodwill amortisation of £           36.1     32.6
3.5m, 1999 £1.4m)
Acquisitions (after goodwill amortisation of £1.9m,                2.9        -
1999 £nil)
                                                              ---------- -------
                                                                  39.0     32.6
Operating profit before goodwill amortisation               2     44.4     34.0

                                                              --------- --------
Operating profit                                            2     39.0     32.6
Income from interests in associated undertakings                   1.2      0.9

                                                              --------- --------
Profit on ordinary activities before interest                     40.2     33.5
Interest receivable and similar income                             0.9      0.9
Interest payable and similar charges                              (8.7)    (3.3)

                                                              --------- --------
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation               2     32.4     31.1
Taxation on ordinary activities                                  (11.6)   (10.4)

                                                              --------- --------
Profit on ordinary activities after taxation                      20.8     20.7
Minority interests                                                (0.3)    (0.4)

                                                              --------- --------
Profit for the year                                               20.5     20.3
Dividends                                                         (7.8)    (6.5)

--------Retained profit for the year                                      12.7  

                                                                ======   ======
Earnings per share                                          3      5.5p     5.5p

                                                              --------- --------
Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation             3      7.0p     5.9p

                                                              --------- --------
Diluted earnings per share                                  3      5.3p    5.3p*

                                                              --------- --------
Dividend per share                                                 2.1p     1.8p

                                                              --------- --------

* restated (note 3)

There is no difference between profit on ordinary activities before taxation
and the retained profit for the year stated above, and their historical cost


at 31 December

                                                               2000       1999

                                                                 £m         £m

                                                          ---------  ---------
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                             136.8       62.0
Tangible assets                                                54.2       44.3
Associated undertakings                                         3.7        2.6
Other                                                          11.2       11.1

                                                          ---------  ---------
                                                               14.9       13.7

                                                          ---------  ---------
                                                              205.9      120.0

                                                          ---------  ---------
Current assets
Stocks and work-in-progress                                    39.9       32.6
Debtors                                                       139.8      114.4
Cash at bank and in hand                                       19.5       22.9

                                                          ---------  ---------
                                                              199.2      169.9
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year               (188.5)    (186.9)

                                                          ---------  ---------
Net current assets/(liabilities)                               10.7     (17.0)

                                                          ---------  ---------
Total assets less current liabilities                         216.6      103.0
Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year      (157.8)     (49.2)
Provisions for liabilities and charges                        (22.6)     (30.9)

                                                          ---------  ---------
Net assets                                                     36.2       22.9

                                                          ---------  ---------
Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                                        19.4       19.3
Share premium                                                 101.1       99.8
Other reserves                                                  0.4        0.4
Profit and loss account                                       (87.7)     (99.8)

                                                          ---------  ---------
Equity shareholders' funds                                     33.2       19.7
Minority interests                                              3.0        3.2

                                                          ---------  ---------
                                                               36.2       22.9

                                                              =====      =====

The press release was approved by the board on 19 March 2001.


for the year ended 31 December
                                                         Notes     2000    1999

                                                                     £m      £m
Cash flow from operating activities
Net cash inflow from continuing operating activities         4     55.9    38.6
Dividends from associated undertakings                              0.3       -
Returns on investments and servicing of finance
Interest received                                                   0.8     0.6
Interest paid                                                      (6.1)   (2.8)
Issue costs of new loans                                           (1.5)       -
Interest element of finance leases                                    -    (0.1)
Dividends paid to minorities                                       (0.5)   (0.5)

                                                               ---------- ------
Net cash outflow from returns on investments and                   (7.3)   (2.8)
servicing of finance
                                                               ---------- ------
Taxation paid                                                     (15.1)   (5.4)

                                                               ---------- ------
Capital expenditure and financial investment
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                                 (19.8)  (16.8)
Purchase of intangible fixed assets                                (0.1)   (0.7)
Purchase of investments                                            (0.2)   (0.5)
Sale of tangible fixed assets                                       0.8     0.3

                                                               ---------- ------
Net cash outflow from capital expenditure and financial           (19.3)  (17.7)
                                                               ---------- ------
Acquisitions and disposals
Purchase of undertakings                                     4    (96.1)  (40.8)
Net cash acquired with subsidiary undertakings               4      1.4     2.1

                                                               ---------- ------
Net cash outflow from acquisitions and disposals                  (94.7)  (38.7)
Dividends paid                                                     (6.5)   (5.5)

                                                               ---------- ------
Cash outflow before use of liquid resources and                   (86.7)  (31.5)
Issue of shares                                                     0.4     1.3
Increase in net debt                                               82.7    22.8

                                                               ---------- ------
Decrease in cash in the year                                 4     (3.6)   (7.4)

                                                                 ======   =====


for the year ended 31 December
                                                                      2000 1999

                                                                        £m   £m
Profit for the year                                                   20.5 20.3
Translation differences on foreign currency net investments less      (1.2) 5.1
translation differences on foreign currency loans taken out to fund
those investments
Tax on gains/(losses) on foreign currency borrowings hedging foreign   0.6 (0.6)
                                                                     ----- -----
Total recognised gains and losses relating to the year                19.9 24.8

                                                                     ===== ====


for the year ended 31 December
                                                               2000        1999

                                                                 £m          £m
Profit for the year                                            20.5        20.3
Dividends                                                      (7.8)       (6.5)

                                                          ---------   ---------
                                                               12.7        13.8
Other recognised gains and losses (net of taxation)            (0.6)        4.5
New share capital issued (including share premium)              1.4         1.3

                                                          ---------   ---------
Net addition to shareholders' funds                            13.5        19.6
Opening shareholders' funds                                    19.7         0.1

                                                          ---------   ---------
Closing shareholders' funds                                    33.2        19.7

                                                              =====       =====

1. Basis of accounting

The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost

2. Geographic analysis

                    Continuing      Acquisitions            2000           1999
                            £m                £m           Total          Total
                                                              £m             £m
Sales by origin
Europe                   342.5               4.2           346.7          301.7
Americas                  72.4              23.2            95.6           52.2
Asia Pacific              37.0                 -            37.0           27.0

                    ----------         ---------       ---------       --------
                         451.9              27.4           479.3          380.9

                        ======             =====           =====          =====

Sales by destination
Europe                  322.8               3.8           326.6          289.8
Americas                 92.8              23.3           116.1           64.8
Asia Pacific             36.3               0.3            36.6           26.3

                      --------        ---------        --------       --------
                        451.9              27.4           479.3          380.9

                         =====           =====            =====          =====

Operating profit before 
Europe                  34.4                0.5           34.9           31.0
Americas                 3.5                4.3            7.8            3.7
Asia Pacific             1.7                  -            1.7           (0.7)

                      ---------         ---------      --------        --------
                        39.6                4.8           44.4           34.0

                       =====              =====          =====            =====

Profit on ordinary 
before taxation
Europe                  31.5               0.2            31.7           29.8
Americas                 3.0               2.7             5.7            3.5
Asia Pacific             1.6                 -             1.6           (0.7)
                     ---------        ---------        --------      --------
Operating profit        36.1               2.9            39.0           32.6
Income from interests in
associated undertakings                                    1.2           0.9
Interest receivable                                        0.9           0.9
Interest payable                                          (8.7)         (3.3)

                                                      ---------     ---------
                                                         32.4          31.1

                                                        =====         =====

2. Geographic analysis (continued)

                                                          2000             1999

                                                         Total            Total

                                                            £m               £m
Net assets
Europe                                                    38.4             30.1
Americas                                                   8.8              9.2
Asia Pacific                                              (0.1)            (1.3)

                                                     ---------         --------
Net operating assets                                      47.1             38.0
Unallocated amounts:
Current and deferred taxation                             (5.2)           (10.6)
Dividends payable                                         (5.7)            (4.5)

                                                     ---------        ---------
Net assets                                                36.2             22.9

                                                         =====            =====

In the opinion of the directors, the group has only one class of business,
which is the provision of market information services.

3. Earnings per share

Earnings per share have been calculated on the profit after taxation and
minority interests of £20.5m (1999 £20.3m) and on 370,229,975 shares (1999
367,817,539), being the weighted average number of shares in issue during the
year, excluding those held in the ESOP and the EBT, which are treated as

The diluted earnings per share have been calculated in accordance with the
provisions of FRS 14, with the weighted average number of shares in issue
being adjusted to assume conversion of all dilutive potential shares for the
period they were outstanding. Comparative figures for diluted earnings per
share (previously reported as 5.1p for the year ended 31 December 1999) have
been amended to be consistent with the current year and the requirements of
FRS 14. Shares held by the ESOP and the EBT, which are under performance-based
options, are included in the diluted weighted average number of shares when
the performance conditions are deemed to have been met. The diluted weighted
average number of shares is 387,481,189 (1999 382,113,829).

Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation have been calculated on the
profit after taxation and minority interests of £25.9m (1999 £21.7m) which
excludes goodwill amortisation of £5.4m (1999 £1.4m), and on the basic
weighted average number of shares. The directors believe that earnings per
share before goodwill amortisation assists in understanding the underlying
performance of the group.

4. Consolidated statement of cash flow

     a. Reconciliation of operating profit to net cash inflow from operating
                                                            2000        1999
                                                           Total       Total
                                                              £m          £m
    Operating profit                                        39.0        32.6
    Amortisation of intangible fixed assets                  5.7         1.7
    Depreciation of tangible fixed assets                   15.7        12.8
    (Increase) in stocks and work-in-progress               (3.2)       (1.7)
    (Increase) in debtors                                  (10.7)      (20.6)
    Provisions                                                  -       (0.8)
    Increase in creditors                                    9.4        14.6

                                                         ---------   ---------
    Net cash inflow from continuing operating activities    55.9        38.6

                                                            =====       =====

 a. Analysis of net debt
                               At 1 Jan   Cash     Exchange  Acquisitions  At 31
                                   2000   flow     movement                  Dec
                                     £m     £m           £m            £m   2000
    Cash at bank and in hand       22.9     (5.0)      0.2        1.4      19.5
    Loans repayable within 1      (37.4)    20.4         -          -     (17.0)
    Loans repayable after more    (48.3)  (101.8)     (3.8)         -    (153.9)
    than 1 year
    Obligations under finance      (0.8)     0.2         -          -      (0.6)
                                 --------- -------  -------     ------- --------
                                  (63.6)   (86.2)     (3.6)       1.4    (152.0)

                                  =====     =====    =====       =====   =====

    Cash flows relating to loans include a cash outflow of £1.5m for issue

    Analysed in balance sheet
                                                  At 1 Jan 2000   At 31 Dec 2000

                                                             £m               £m
    Cash at bank and in hand                              22.9             19.5
    Bank loans repayable within 1 year                   (37.4)           (17.0)
    Bank loans repayable after more than 1 year          (48.3)          (153.9)
    Finance leases repayable within 1 year                (0.2)            (0.3)
    Finance leases repayable after more than 1 year       (0.6)            (0.3)

                                                      ---------        ---------
                                                         (63.6)          (152.0)

                                                        ======            =====

 b. Analysis of the net outflow of cash and cash equivalents in respect of the
    purchase of subsidiary undertakings


Cash consideration
1999 acquisitions                                                           8.4
2000 acquisitions                                                          84.4
Payments made in advance relating to 2001 acquisitions                      3.3

Net cash acquired                                                          (1.4)

Net outflow of cash and cash equivalents in respect of the purchase of     94.7
subsidiary undertakings

Additional information

Subject to approval by shareholders at the annual general meeting on Tuesday
12 June, the final dividend will be paid on 5 July 2001 to shareholders on the
register on 25 May 2001.

Copies of this release are available from the Investor Relations Manager,
Taylor Nelson Sofres plc, Westgate, London W5 1UA. Email:
[email protected]

It can also be found in the Investor Centre of the group's internet site at

The group's annual report will be published in April and will be available
electronically from the Investor Centre of the internet site.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t