x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Middle East ‘opportunities’ boost bottom line for Britain’s YouGov

New business wins in the GCC and Iraq helped to boost Middle East revenues by 22 per cent for the British market researcher YouGov.

YouGov won contracts in the Kurdish region of Iraq for commercial market research and public opinion polling. Above, the main square of Erbil. Safin Hamed/ AFP
YouGov won contracts in the Kurdish region of Iraq for commercial market research and public opinion polling. Above, the main square of Erbil. Safin Hamed/ AFP

New deals in the GCC states and Iraq helped to boost Middle East revenues by 22 per cent for the market researcher YouGov.

Contracts with Emirates Airline, PepsiCo, Saudi Telecom and UAE government agencies contributed to revenue of £7.3 million (Dh42.8m) in the year ending July 31, the British-headquartered company said yesterday.

It also won contracts in the Kurdish region of Iraq for commercial market research and public opinion polling, leading to the establishment of a branch office in the “rapidly expanding economy”, YouGov said.

“The economic opportunities in the Middle East region, including its young population profile, continue to attract interest and investment from international and regional businesses despite the political instabilities.

“YouGov’s regional footprint and panel make us well positioned to service the resulting research requirements and deliver further growth.”

After starting out as a political pollster, YouGov has branched out into market research services and established a presence outside of the United Kingdom. Europe, the United States and the Middle East are its three areas of focus.

The company said revenue growth for the Middle East was higher than its original expectations. During the year it grew adjusted operating profit by 18 per cent to £1.5m.

An increasingly important contributor to growth was Brandindex, a service that enables YouGov to advise companies about the public’s perception of their brands.

“Our panel, which now covers 21 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, continues to be regarded as the regional leader in terms of quality and has supported growth of our online data services which grew revenue by 26 per cent in the year,” according to YouGov.

The company said its partnership with the Dubai-based Al Aan TV to provide surveys for their pan-regional Arab language channels continued to help to promote YouGov’s brand regionally.

The London Stock Exchange-listed company said it would raise its dividend by 20 per cent to 0.6 pence. It followed pre-tax profit for the year ended July 31 rising to £1.5m from £440,000 a year earlier. In afternoon trading yesterday, the shares were up 3.5 pence at 73 pence apiece.

tarnold@thenational.ae