YouGov Shares Downfall as Co-Founder of Polling Group Confirms Departure
- Survey data firm expects to report full-year operating profit of £46m-£50m
- Stephan Shakespeare will replace Roger Parry as president in early August
- YouGov shares fell on Friday, but have still more than doubled in the last 5 years
YouGov co-founder Stephan Shakespeare is preparing to step back as chief executive, the survey data provider said on Friday.
It came as the group confirmed expectations that full-year operating profit would hit between £46m and £50m for the 12 months to July, thanks to sustained margin growth.
But YouGov is now also forecasting turnover to be at the lower end of consensus estimates of £257m to £274m, despite “well ahead of the market” underlying growth predictions.
YouGov Actions it fell 11.6 percent, or 125 pence, to 955 pence on Friday afternoon, but its value has still more than doubled in the last five years.
Transition: YouGov co-founder Stephan Shakespeare will step down as CEO later this month after 12 years in charge to replace Roger Parry as chairman
YouGov said trading had made “good progress” in all territories despite more challenging economic conditions, with the company facing longer sales cycles and customer decision-making times in early 2023.
For the six months to January, the company’s revenue increased 30% to £131.4m on higher demand for data products and its dashboard-based custom research business.
Since then, it has increased its net cash position significantly following a successful £51.2m equity placement earlier this month, with some of the money raised planned to fund the planned acquisition of GfK’s consumer panel division. .
The €315 million (£270.3 million) acquisition will boost YouGov’s operations in Europe and broaden its offering to the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
Founded in 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare and former Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi, the company sells data insights to companies and public bodies in dozens of countries.
It was listed five years later on London’s AIM junior stock exchange with a market value of just £18m, which has since ballooned to approximately £1.1bn.
As part of a board shakeup, Shakespeare will step down as chief executive at the end of this month after 12 years in the role to replace Roger Parry as chairman.
Steve Hatch will become the next CEO, having most recently been vice president of northern European operations for Facebook owner Meta and non-executive director of Daily Mirror editorial Reach.
Before that, he spent 15 years at the world’s largest advertising group, WPP, eventually becoming director of the media agency MEC, now known as Wavemaker.
YouGov is also promoting Lynda Vivian to chief operating officer, replacing Sundip Chahal, who will be appointed business director, while former TSB Bank chairman Nick Prettejohn will succeed Rosemary Leith as independent senior director.