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Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 10 September, 2001

Taylor Nelson Sofres

Interim Results

Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC
10 September 2001

                           Taylor Nelson Sofres plc

                     A world leader in market information

                   Results demonstrate industry resilience

Highlights from the interim results for the six months ended 30June 2001:

  * Turnover up 26.1% to £271.2m
  * EBITDA increases 30.5% to £32.6m
  * Operating profit up 34.2% to £23.0m
  * Operating margin increases from 8.0% to 8.5%
  * Profit before tax up 9.1% to £17.1m
  * Earnings per share rise by 11.9% to 3.1p
  * Development spend maintained at 3% of turnover

Note: all figures include share of joint ventures and are before goodwill

Mike Kirkham, Chief Executive, said:

'These strong figures illustrate the relative resilience of the market
information industry worldwide, which continues to grow even in times of
economic pressure. While it is normal for there to be regional variations,
with the developing markets growing faster than the more established ones, the
underlying drivers for growth remain robust, led by globalisation, continued
strength of new sectors, outsourcing and technological innovation.

'Over the past few months, we have been implementing our strategy at a faster
rate, and our core market information operations, which represent over 95 per
cent of turnover, are continuing to perform well. Our order book as it stands
today gives us the confidence to believe that we are succeeding in our aim of
maintaining anticipated levels of growth in our core business for the year as
a whole.'

For further information, please contact:

On 10 September, all enquiries to +44 (0)20 7638 9571


Mike Kirkham, Chief Executive

+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]

Note to editors

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 website:


Taylor Nelson Sofres, a world leader in market information, today announces
its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2001. Turnover, at £271.2
million (2000 £215.1 million), has grown by 26.1 per cent, with profit before
tax and goodwill amortisation up by 9.1 per cent to £17.1 million (2000 £15.6
million). Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation were 3.1p (2000
2.8p), an improvement of 11.9 per cent. After goodwill amortisation of £4.3
million (2000 £1.9 million) arising from acquisition activity, profit before
tax fell by 7.0 per cent to £12.8 million (2000 £13.7 million).

The board has declared an interim dividend of 0.8p per share (2000 0.7p).

Operating profit, including share of joint ventures and before goodwill
amortisation, was up 34.2 per cent to £23.0 million (2000 £17.1 million).
Operating margin improved from 8.0 per cent to 8.5 per cent, reflecting an
increase in the proportion of syndicated business and the continued efficiency
gains made across the group.

Net debt at 30 June 2001 increased to £193.5 million from £152.0 million at 31
December 2000, as the group spent £40.9 million on acquisitions to reinforce
its global network and strengthen its specialist sector expertise. Operating
cash flow in the period was £18.8 million (2000 £10.5 million).

The increase in net debt and the inclusion of £0.3 million of notional
interest on deferred consideration required under FRS7, has led to a net
interest charge of £6.1 million (2000 £2.1 million). Interest cover against
EBITDA, excluding notional interest, was 5.6x (2000 11.8x).

The group's effective tax rate before goodwill amortisation for the period was
30.8 per cent (2000 31.5 per cent) and is expected to remain at a similar rate
for the full year.

Commenting on the six months' results and the future, Chief Executive Mike
Kirkham said:

'Our core market research businesses, which represent over 95 per cent of
turnover, continued to perform well in the first half of the year, with
underlying growth of 8.0 per cent. This figure excludes television meter
sales, together with the marketing-related and consulting businesses in the UK
and France, which are more cyclical by nature. Underlying growth for the group
as a whole was 6.7 per cent, before the positive impact of foreign exchange
(2.3 per cent) and acquisitions and joint ventures (17.1 per cent).

'These strong figures illustrate the relative resilience of the market
information industry worldwide, which continues to grow even in times of
economic pressure. While it is normal for there to be regional variations,
with the developing markets growing faster than the more established ones, the
underlying drivers for growth remain robust, led by globalisation, continued
strength of new sectors, outsourcing and technological innovation.

Extending the power of the network

'We continue to integrate new acquisitions successfully into the group and, in
the year to date, have purchased companies that both build our network and
reinforce our specialist sector expertise, in line with our ongoing strategy.

'Our global network now extends to 53 countries following the addition, in
2001, of companies in Finland, Russia, the Baltic States and Mexico,
strengthening our presence in those regions that have the potential for good
medium term growth. At the same time, we have taken 100 per cent ownership of
our associate in India and increased from 40 per cent to 90 per cent our
holding in Demoscopia in Spain, reinforcing our market leadership position.

'We are placing considerable emphasis on maximising the benefit from this
powerful network by more rapid introduction of our growing range of branded
solutions across the group.

Emphasis on syndicated services

'The acquisition of Adscope, announced in May, further strengthens our
presence in media monitoring in the US market. Since we acquired CMR in June
2000, the largest advertising expenditure monitoring company in the US, we
have made two complementary acquisitions and expect to continue to develop the
business in this way. In addition, we have been exchanging services and skills
between our European and US media monitoring companies.

'The growth of our media monitoring activities is just one of the drivers
behind the increasing proportion of our turnover in syndicated and continuous
services. We are reinforcing the focus on developing such activities across
all of our sectors. This includes the building of our global monitors in
Business Services and Healthcare, the extension of our regional consumer panel
coverage in Asia, the establishment of new niche panels and the development of
an increasing number of tracking services. These are all examples that have
proved less vulnerable in times of economic downturn.

Investing in the future

'As a leading player within the market information industry, we have gained a
reputation for innovation and for taking best practice across the group. This
emphasis has led, among other things, to the development of a unique range of
branded solutions, for which we have worldwide licences. We have recently
added the advertising pre-testing system, Buy Test.
We are now combining these branded products to meet client demand for total
solutions, particularly in the areas of customer loyalty and advertising

'Other areas where the group has focused its development expenditure include
the introduction of new healthcare services, highly specialised media
monitoring systems and a network of consumer panels across Asia. We continue
to place particular importance on the development of new products, services
and processes, with the level of spend being maintained. Current projects
include new products for CMR and the development of a prototype portal for
delivering data via the internet.

'While recognising the importance of investing in our future, we are also
conscious of the need to operate as efficiently as possible. The requirement
for sensible cost control, which does not harm such investment or the
development of our people, is a key element of our current and future plans.


'To ensure that we retain our leading position in the global market
information industry, we believe that it is important to carry on investing
approximately 3 per cent of our turnover in developing new products, services
and systems. These investments contribute to an increase in the proportion of
syndicated business within our group which, together with further operating
efficiencies, will allow us to maintain our target of around 0.5 per cent
improvement in operating margin for the full year.

'We operate in a market that has solid underlying drivers for growth. Our
strategy has been designed to take advantage of those drivers and to establish
a business with wide regional and sector coverage, together with a broad
product mix. It is this diversity that allows the group as a whole to maintain
its record of strong profitable growth, even when certain parts of its market
come under economic pressure.

'While we expect our non-market research activities may under-perform for the
rest of the year, our market information operations are continuing to perform
well. Over the past few months, we have been implementing our strategy at a
faster rate, in order that we may maintain anticipated levels of growth in our
core business for the year as a whole. Our order book as it stands today gives
us the confidence to believe that we are succeeding in our aims.'



Against a challenging economic background, turnover grew by 26.1 per cent to £
271.2 million, with underlying growth (excluding the effect of currency,
acquisitions and joint ventures) of 6.7 per cent. Currency had a positive
impact of 2.3 per cent, while acquisitions and joint ventures added 17.1 per
cent of growth to the group.

Geographic spread supports growth

                      6 months to 30 June                   Increase
                          2001              2000       Reported      Underlying

                            £m                £m              %               %

                 -------------    -------------- -------------- ---------------
UK                        63.1              61.6            2.5             1.5
France                    51.9              47.6            9.0             6.3
Rest of Europe            77.6              56.8           36.6            16.1

                   -----------        ----------
Europe                   192.6             166.0           16.0             8.0
Americas                  58.3              32.5           79.5             2.3
Asia Pacific              20.3              16.6           22.5             8.5

                   -----------        ----------
Total                    271.2             215.1           26.1             6.7

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


In the UK, where the underlying growth was 1.5 per cent, the core market
research businesses grew by 4.7 per cent. Healthcare performed particularly
well and Business Services benefited from increased sales of syndicated
products, such as Global Tax and Consulting Monitors. The consumer panel
operations saw the benefits of the increased size of Superpanel and performed
in line with expectations. Overall performance in the first half was, however,
impacted by the difficult trading conditions encountered by non-market
research businesses and the fact that the previous year benefited from
large-scale TV meter sales into Canada. In line with trends seen in recent
years, the UK business is expected to perform more strongly in the second half
and the core businesses are expected to grow in line with the UK market for
the year as a whole.

Underlying growth in France is estimated to be broadly in line with the
market, with consumer panel, media monitoring and IT/Telecoms all growing
strongly. Here too the figures were impacted by under-performance from
consulting activities, with the pure market research operations growing at
over 8 per cent.

In the Rest of Europe, the Netherlands and Germany again grew at over 20 per
cent. Netherlands-based NIPO continued to expand, with further opportunities
coming through from government agencies, deregulation and the transport
sector. Germany also benefited from deregulation in the financial services and
energy markets and good contract wins in Healthcare and Automotive.


Within the Americas region, underlying growth in the US was 4.9 per cent. TNS
Intersearch started the year well, following a strong performance in 2000 but
growth slowed in the second quarter, as clients deferred expenditure. A
reduced level of growth in US customised services is expected through the
year. Against this background, the company achieved a good performance in
sectors such as Consumer and Telecoms, where it is winning market share.
However, this was to some extent offset by a pronounced slowdown in demand for
customised media work throughout the period. Client relationships are being
maintained and this business should return as soon as the market improves.

CMR, which supplies predominantly syndicated services on longer-term
contracts, continued its pattern of steady growth and is expected to maintain
this through the second half. Additional future growth will come from an
expansion of its activities into Canada and the extension of its marketing
communications information services. This will be supplemented by
complementary acquisitions, such as newly-acquired Wallace Marx and Adscope,
which have both been successfully integrated into CMR.

The overall revenue performance of the Americas region was adversely affected
by the severe economic problems in Argentina, where our subsidiary, Gallup
Argentina, suffered a reduction in turnover. The acquisition of CR Group in
Mexico will add to turnover in this region going forward.

Asia Pacific

The group believes the overall market in this region is maintaining good
growth, but with variations from country to country. In China, where the group
has built a significant presence and has recently announced a new National
Readership Survey, the market is thought to be moving ahead strongly. The
second half of the year is traditionally stronger than the first for the group
in Asia and this pattern is expected to continue in 2001, supported by a
strong order book.

The group now runs consumer panels in seven countries across Asia and is
supplying regional data to multi-national clients. Its latest development is
the introduction of additional panels, such as a Baby Panel in Taiwan,
launched in response to client demand. The region also benefited from the
start of the Singapore television audience measurement contract.

Sector diversity provides resilience

                       6 months to 30 June                 Increase
                             2001          2000       Reported       Underlying

                               £m            £m              %                %

                   -------------- ------------- --------------  ---------------
Consumer                     89.1          75.3           18.4              6.1
Media                        69.7          43.5           60.3              1.9
Business Services            36.3          32.8           10.6              9.5
IT/Telecoms                  27.4          22.9           19.9             12.2
Healthcare                   17.6          15.6           13.0              9.3
Other activities             31.1          25.0           24.2             10.7

                   --------------   -----------
Total                       271.2         215.1           26.1              6.7

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


Steady growth was achieved in the continuous panels businesses. This reflects
the investment made over the past few years into increasing the size of the UK
Superpanel, achieving operating efficiencies in France and building a network
of panels in Asia. The group has established niche panels, such as Baby Panels
in the UK and Taiwan and is now building additional services on to its
established panels.

While customised business is more vulnerable to economic factors, the group
performed particularly well in the UK and Netherlands, as well as in the US,
where it won a number of contracts with leading fmcg manufacturers.


Over the past two years, the group has placed considerable emphasis on the
development of its media monitoring activities, now in 17 countries, making
the sector far less reliant on customised contracts. On an underlying basis,
these syndicated services grew by 7.0 per cent and the group continues to
develop new products and services. These include a new extranet site, which
delivers selected clippings from TV, radio, press and internet as soon as the
news breaks. In the US, CMR has introduced new services in the areas of
multi-media and creative alerts.

The acquisition of MDC, completed in March, strengthened media monitoring and
television audience measurement activities. MDC is involved in Peoplemeter
based services in four countries, including Finland and Russia and diary
services in TV and radio in a number of others. The new TV audience
measurement service in Singapore was successfully launched in January. The
panel comprises 750 households and uses both PictureMatching and the licensed
Arbitron audio code technology for channel detection. CSM, the joint venture
in China, continued its development with a further three cities, Chengdu,
Shenzen and Hangzhou going live and plans to increase the number of cities
covered by the year end.

Two factors, however, had a negative impact on the sector. In a difficult
trading environment for media companies, clients across all regions reduced
their spend on custom business in areas such as programme pre-testing. In
addition, the high level of TV meter sales last year adversely affects the
comparison with 2000.

Business Services

Activities in this area tend to be predominantly local but the group is
beginning to see increased demand for international work, which should fuel
future growth. In the first half, both the Netherlands and Germany performed
particularly well and the UK extended its range of syndicated services.


The group has strong relationships with a number of the key companies in the
IT industry and continues to win major contracts, particularly in the area of
customer satisfaction.

The Telecoms business has held up well against the backdrop of difficult
conditions within the industry, with a particularly strong performance in
Europe. New product introductions have included an annual, syndicated,
13-country service measuring perceptions and interest in new technology, as
well as mobile phone panels in the UK, Denmark and Spain.


A strong and sustainable performance in this sector reflects the fact that the
recent major mergers in the pharmaceutical industry have been completed. On an
international basis, the new groups are again initiating significant market
research spends, reinforcing their commitment to the development of innovative
drugs. Recognising that international projects are increasingly commissioned
out of the US, the group has opened a new office in Princeton, USA, thereby
improving its ability to service its key clients.

The group's successful GP internet panel has been taken from the UK into
France, Germany and Spain and an agreement has been signed with a US company
giving it access to a US GP and specialist panel. The intention is to extend
existing panels to include specialists and to broaden further the geographic
spread. In the UK, the new syndicated product, Transact, has been very well
received and its services are being extended.

Other activities

The major factor behind the growth in these activities is a strong performance
from Automotive and Social and Political Polling, with the group achieving
double digit growth in both areas. Automotive performed especially well in the
US, Germany and Asia Pacific, with particular success in China.



The interim dividend will be paid on 10 December 2001 to shareholders on the
register on 9 November 2001.


Information about Taylor Nelson Sofres and the current share price is
available on the group's internet site, at Material likely
to be of particular interest to shareholders is contained in the Investor
Centre, where you will also find copies of announcements made to the London
Stock Exchange.

Investor relations

For investor enquiries, please contact the Investor Relations Manager at the
head office address below.

Tel + 44 (0)20 8967 1584, Fax +44 (0)20 8967 1386, Email:
[email protected]

                                                       Unaudited        Audited

                                                  6 months to 30 June Full Year
                                                       2001      2000      2000

                                                         £m        £m        £m
Continuing activities                                 260.9     215.1     479.3
Acquisitions                                           10.3         -         -

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Turnover (note 2)                                     271.2     215.1     479.3
Less share of joint ventures                          (3.4)         -         -

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Turnover excluding joint ventures                     267.8     215.1     479.3
Cost of sales                                        (94.2)    (71.7)   (170.7)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Gross profit                                          173.6     143.4     308.6
Administrative expenses                             (155.3)   (128.2)   (269.6)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Operating profit
Continuing activities (after goodwill                  17.0      15.2      39.0
amortisation of £3.7m, 2000 £1.9m,
full year 2000 £5.4m)
Acquisitions (after goodwill amortisation of            1.3         -         -
£0.5m, 2000 nil)
                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Operating profit before joint ventures and             18.3      15.2      39.0
Share of operating profit of joint ventures             0.4         -         -
(after goodwill amortisation of £0.1m,
2000 nil)
Operating profit including joint ventures (before      23.0      17.1      44.4
goodwill amortisation and associates)
                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Share of operating profit of associates                 0.2       0.6       1.2

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Profit on ordinary activities before interest          18.9      15.8      40.2
Interest receivable and similar income                  0.3       0.6       0.9
Interest payable and similar charges                  (6.4)     (2.7)     (8.7)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation          12.8      13.7      32.4
Taxation on ordinary activities (note 3)              (5.3)     (4.9)    (11.6)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Profit on ordinary activities after taxation            7.5       8.8      20.8
Minority interests                                    (0.1)     (0.3)     (0.3)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Profit for the period                                   7.4       8.5      20.5
Dividends                                             (3.0)     (2.6)     (7.8)

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Retained profit for the period                          4.4       5.9      12.7

                                                    =======   =======    ======
Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation        3.1p      2.8p      7.0p
(note 4)
                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Earnings per share (note 4)                            2.0p      2.3p      5.5p

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Diluted earnings per share (note 4)                    1.9p      2.2p      5.3p

                                                  --------- --------- ---------
Dividend per share                                     0.8p      0.7p      2.1p

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

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

                                                              Unaudited Audited

                                                                  At 30   At 31
                                                                   June     Dec
                                                         2001      2000    2000

                                                           £m        £m      £m
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                       172.3     119.8   136.8
Tangible assets                                          56.8      48.3    54.2
Share of gross assets of joint ventures (including        6.7         -       -
£3.1m goodwill on acquisition)
Share of gross liabilities of joint ventures            (1.8)         -       -
Associates                                                1.1       3.2     3.7
Other                                                    11.6      11.3    11.2

                                                     -------- --------- -------
                                                         17.6      14.5    14.9

                                                     -------- --------- -------
                                                        246.7     182.6   205.9

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Current assets
Stocks and work-in-progress                              37.7      37.6    39.9
Debtors                                                 144.1     130.1   139.8
Cash at bank and in hand                                 15.1      19.8    19.5

                                                     -------- --------- -------
                                                        196.9     187.5   199.2
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year        (190.4)   (249.0) (188.5)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net current assets/(liabilities)                          6.5    (61.5)    10.7

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Total assets less current liabilities                   253.2     121.1   216.6
Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one    (189.7)    (67.2) (157.8)
Provisions for liabilities and charges                 (19.6)    (22.8)  (22.6)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net assets                                               43.9      31.1    36.2

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                                  19.4      19.4    19.4
Share premium                                           102.1     101.0   101.1
Other reserves                                            0.4       0.4     0.4
Profit and loss account                                (82.8)    (93.2)  (87.7)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Equity shareholders' funds                               39.1      27.6    33.2
Minority interests                                        4.8       3.5     3.0

                                                     -------- --------- -------
                                                         43.9      31.1    36.2

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

The press release was approved by the board on 10 September 2001.

                                                            Unaudited   Audited

                                                                At 30 At 31 Dec
                                                       2001      2000      2000

                                                         £m        £m        £m
Cash flow from operating activities (note 5)
Net cash inflow from continuing operating              18.8      10.5      55.9
                                                     -------- --------- -------
Dividends from associated undertakings                    -       0.1       0.3
Returns on investments and servicing of finance
Interest received                                       0.2       0.6       0.8
Interest paid                                         (7.1)     (2.6)     (6.1)
Issue costs of new loans                                  -         -     (1.5)
Dividends paid to minority interests                      -     (0.5)     (0.5)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net cash outflow from returns on investments and      (6.9)     (2.5)     (7.3)
servicing of finance
                                                     -------- --------- -------
Taxation paid                                         (3.8)     (5.7)    (15.1)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Capital expenditure and financial investment
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                     (9.5)     (6.0)    (19.8)
Purchase of intangible fixed assets                   (0.3)         -     (0.1)
Purchase of investments                                   -     (0.1)     (0.2)
Sale of tangible fixed assets                           0.6       0.2       0.8

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net cash outflow from capital expenditure and         (9.2)     (5.9)    (19.3)
financial investment
                                                     -------- --------- -------
Purchase of subsidiary undertakings and joint        (43.4)    (75.7)    (96.1)
Net cash acquired with subsidiary undertakings          2.5       1.3       1.4

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net cash outflow from acquisitions                   (40.9)    (74.4)    (94.7)
Dividends paid                                            -         -     (6.5)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Cash outflow before financing                        (42.0)    (77.9)    (86.7)
Issue of ordinary share capital                         0.2       0.2       0.4
Increase in debt                                       37.1      74.3      82.7

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Decrease in cash in the period (note 5)               (4.7)     (3.4)     (3.6)

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

                                                          Unaudited     Audited

                                                         6 months to  Full year
                                                           30 June
                                                         2001    2000      2000

                                                           £m      £m        £m

Profit for the period                                     7.4     8.5      20.5

Translation differences on foreign currency net
investments less translation                              2.0     0.8     (1.2)
differences on foreign currency loans taken out to fund
those investments

Tax on (losses)/gains on foreign currency borrowings    (0.3)   (0.1)       0.6
hedging foreign investments
                                                     -------- --------- -------
Total recognised gains and losses relating to the         9.1     9.2      19.9
                                                     ======== ========  ========

                                                         Unaudited     Audited

                                                        6 months to  Full year
                                                          30 June
                                                        2001    2000      2000
                                                          £m      £m        £m

Profit for the period                                    7.4     8.5      20.5
Dividends                                              (3.0)   (2.6)     (7.8)

                                                     -------- --------- -------
                                                         4.4     5.9      12.7

Amounts deducted in respect of shares issued to a
qualifying employee share                              (0.8)       -         -
ownership trust

Share of former associates                             (0.4)       -         -

Other recognised gains and losses (net of taxation)      1.7     0.7     (0.6)

New share capital issued (including share premium)       1.0     1.3       1.4

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Net addition to shareholders' funds                      5.9     7.9      13.5
Opening shareholders' funds                             33.2    19.7      19.7

                                                     -------- --------- -------
Closing shareholders' funds                             39.1    27.6      33.2

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

Share of former associates represents the group's share of the profits of TNS
Mode and Demoscopia during the period between the group's acquisition of a
holding in those companies as associates and the date they became group
subsidiaries, in accordance with the Companies Act 1985.


1. Basis of accounting

The financial statements have been prepared on the basis of the accounting
policies set out in the group's

2000 annual report and include the accounts of Taylor Nelson Sofres plc and
its subsidiary undertakings and the group's share of the results and net
assets of joint ventures and associates, based upon the gross equity and
equity methods of accounting respectively. The interim financial statements,
which were approved by the directors on

10 September 2001, are unaudited and have not been reviewed in accordance with
APB 1993/1. The interim report does not comprise full financial statements
within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. The figures for
the year ended 31 December 2000 are an extract from the full financial
statements for that period, which have been delivered to the Registrar of
Companies. The auditors' opinion on those accounts was unqualified and did not
contain a statement under Section 237 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985.

2. Geographic analysis of turnover

                                                            6 months to 30 June
                              Continuing Acquisitions         2001         2000

                                      £m           £m        Total        Total

                                                                £m           £m
Sales by origin
UK                                  62.9          0.2         63.1         61.6
France                              51.9            -         51.9         47.6
Rest of Europe                      69.4          8.2         77.6         56.8

                            ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------
Europe                             184.2          8.4        192.6        166.0
Americas                            57.2          1.1         58.3         32.5
Asia Pacific                        19.5          0.8         20.3         16.6

                            ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------
                                   260.9         10.3        271.2        215.1
Less share of joint                (2.0)        (1.4)        (3.4)            -
                            ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------
                                   258.9          8.9        267.8        215.1

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

3. Taxation

The tax charge of £5.3 million (2000 £4.9 million) includes £5.9 million (2000
£3.5 million) relating to overseas taxation. The net tax credit in the UK
arises primarily from interest charges associated with the debt financing of

4. Earnings per share

Earnings per share have been calculated on the profit after taxation and
minority interests of £7.4 million (2000 £8.5 million) and on 371.3 million
shares (2000 369.5 million), being the weighted average number of shares in
issue fully ranking for dividends in the period. This excludes shares held in
trust for employee share schemes, as it is considered that the dividend waiver
of all but 0.001p per share constitutes a full waiver for these purposes. The
fully diluted earnings per share have been calculated in accordance with the
provisions of FRS 14 after assuming the conversion of all outstanding share
options. The fully diluted average number of shares in issue was 386.7 million
(2000 387.6 million).

Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation have been calculated on the
profit after taxation and minority interests excluding goodwill amortisation
(2001 £4.3 million 2000 £1.9 million) of £11.7 million (2000 £10.4 million).

5. Consolidated statement of cash flow

a. Reconciliation of operating profit to net cash inflow from operating

                                                    Unaudited           Audited

                                               6 months to 30 June    Full year
                                                   2001         2000       2000
                                                     £m           £m         £m

Operating profit                                   18.3         15.2       39.0
Amortisation of intangible fixed assets             4.6          2.2        5.7
Depreciation of tangible fixed assets               9.2          6.9       15.7
Decrease/(increase) in stocks and                   4.0        (4.1)      (3.2)
(Increase) in debtors                             (3.6)        (5.0)     (10.7)
(Decrease) in creditors                          (13.7)        (4.7)          -
Increase in provisions                                -            -        9.4

                                             ---------- ------------ ----------
Net cash inflow from continuing operating          18.8         10.5       55.9
                                                =======     ========    =======

b. Analysis of net debt

                                   At 1 Jan                  Exchange     At 30
                                            Cash flow        movement
                                       2001        £m                 June 2001
                                         £m                        £m        £m
Cash at bank and in hand               19.5     (4.7)             0.3      15.1
Loans repayable within 1 year        (17.0)     (5.1)               -    (22.1)
Loans repayable after more than 1   (153.9)    (31.7)               -   (185.6)
Obligations under finance leases      (0.6)     (0.3)               -     (0.9)

                                  --------- ---------     ----------- ----------
                                    (152.0)    (41.8)             0.3   (193.5)

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

                                                   Unaudited           Audited

                                              6 months to 30 June    Full year
                                                    2001       2000       2000
                                                      £m         £m         £m
Analysed in balance sheet
Cash at bank and in hand                            15.1       19.8       19.5
Bank loans repayable within 1 year                (22.1)     (96.1)     (17.0)
Bank loans repayable after more than 1 year      (185.6)     (66.0)    (153.9)
Finance leases repayable within 1 year             (0.5)      (0.1)      (0.3)
Finance leases repayable after more than 1         (0.4)      (0.4)      (0.3)
                                             ------------ ----------- ----------
                                                 (193.5)    (142.8)    (152.0)

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

6. Acquisitions

Acquisitions in the year to the date of this report include:

Business                Month Principal country of     Sector     2000      Net
                                         operation            turnover   assets

MDC Research Group      March    Finland, Russia &      Cross   £19.3m    £3.6m
                                     Baltic States     sector

TNS Mode                April                India      Cross    £2.3m    £0.1m
(holding increased from                                sector
30% to 100%)

Demoscopia              April                Spain      Cross    £5.3m    £1.6m
(holding increased from                                sector
40% to 90%)

Adscope                   May                   US      Media  US$1.0m        -

CR Group                 July               Mexico      Cross    £9.3m    £1.6m

Net assets acquired may be adjusted when fair value reviews have been

7. Joint ventures

Joint ventures include Latin Panel (South America), the CSM (China) joint
venture for Television Audience Measurement, together with joint ventures of
MDC and Teleseker (Israel).

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