Nielsen revenues fell 7% in Q1


Top line revenues for The Nielsen Company were $1.13 billion, which was a 7% decline on a reported basis – but, a 1% increase if you adjust for currency fluctuations. The media measurement business was up, while other sectors posted revenue declines.

Nielsen’s quarterly reports are somewhat complicated, due to the company having operations all around the globe. For the Media segment, which is primarily the US-based Nielsen Media Research, Q1 revenues were up 9.3% to $451 million. CFO Brian West noted in his conference call with analysts that the Media numbers include about nine percentage points from acquisitions, so revenues were a little better that flat on a reported basis. But adjusted for currency fluctuations, Media revenues were up 12.4%, or about 3% on a same businesses basis.

Operating income for the Media sector rose to $74 million from $67 million a year ago. West said the gain was about 10% on a constant currency basis.

Noting the pressures on ad revenues, West said Nielsen is working with its broadcast stations, “who are struggling.”

The Business Media segment of Nielsen continues to struggle, with revenues dwon 31.2% to $85 million. That was mostly due to declining ad sales for the trade publications, but the trade show business was also down 10-15%. Business Media operating income fell to $10 million from $26 million a year ago.

In the Q&A session, West told an analyst there’s no indication yet that the Business Media segment is bottoming out, but he also noted that advertising is becoming a smaller and smaller part of revenues for Nielsen – and that the company is moving its trade pubs from print to online “as fast as we can.” Nielsen’s titles include Billboard, Radio & Records, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek.

Consumer Services revenues were down 12.1% in Q1 to $597 million, but nup 0.4% on a constant currency basis. Operating income was $47 million, up from $42 million.