(BFM Bourse) – The research group had a dynamic quarter. Management confirms its annual forecasts despite an uncertain environment, which pushes Ipsos shares to a new all-time high on Friday at the gates of 50 euros.
The gloomy atmosphere in the markets does not reach Ipsos, which gains 6.37% to 48.40 euros, around 12:10 pm. The action passed a peak from the year 2000, thus setting a new all-time high, bringing the increase to 17.21% since January 1. In three years’ time, the stock’s performance is even more impressive with a gain of 114% over the period.
The record increase is due to buoyant profits in the first quarter of 2022. The world’s third-largest pollster reported growth of 17.5% from the first quarter of last year and 12.3% on organic base, “despite the current global upheavals.” Ipsos’ activity, at EUR 574.8 million, continued in the first quarter of 2022 on the same path as in 2021.
Currency effects had a positive impact of 4.3%, mainly taking into account the appreciation of the dollar and the British pound, while scope effects were +0.9%, corresponding to the acquisitions made in the second half of 2021 . Ipsos is remembered with the acquisition of the technology company Infotools, a platform specialized in the reporting of study data, and Karian&Box, an expert in employee relations analysis.
No major impact from Ukraine on Ipsos activity
Regionally, some headwinds from the war in Ukraine slowed organic growth to 5% of Ipsos’ operations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. However, the group points out that only 2% of its annual turnover is directly related to Russia and Ukraine, and therefore does not expect a “major impact” on its activities on a global level.
In Asia, the group delivered double-digit growth across the region with 15% organic growth in the 1st quarter, despite China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy.
In the Americas, the implementation of new group management in the United States and continued solid performance in Latin America enabled Ipsos to achieve 22% growth.
“The only certainty was uncertainty”
Ipsos still prefers a cautious bias despite “a solid start to the year and” [sa] well able to pass on cost increases to (its) customers.”
On the sidelines of its 2021 reports, which were accidentally published on the first day of the war in Ukraine, the group admitted that “the only certainty was uncertainty”. To date, the group remains fuzzy in a context of mounting inflation, supply chain tensions and geopolitical turmoil.
Against this backdrop, Ipsos is tentatively sticking to its expectation that the group will continue to build on its “record performance from 2021 to 2022, with organic growth of approximately 5% (and underlying growth of 7% or more, given the temporary positive impact of Covid-related contracts).
“We are confident in the future growth of our business. Customer demand remains strong given our order books,” the group explains in its press release of the day.
For its part, management says gross margin “will continue to grow, which will help defend operating margin by keeping it at a structurally higher level than before the pandemic, between 12 and 13% for 2022.”
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