YouGov shares slump as polling group’s co-founder confirms exit


YouGov shares slump as polling group’s co-founder confirms exit

  • The polling data firm expects to report full-year operating profits of £46m-£50m
  • Stephan Shakespeare will replace Roger Parry as chairman at the start of August
  • YouGov shares fell on Friday, but have still more than doubled in the past 5 years

YouGov co-founder Stephan Shakespeare is preparing to step back as chief executive, the polling data provider said on Friday.

It came as the group confirmed expectations of full-year operating profits hitting between £46million and £50million for the 12 months ending July, thanks to sustained growth in margins.

But YouGov also now forecasts that turnover will be towards the bottom end of consensus estimates of £257million to £274million, despite predictions of underlying growth being ‘well ahead of the market’.

YouGov shares slumped 11.6 per cent, or 125p, to 955p by late Friday afternoon, yet their value has still more than doubled over the past five years.

Transition: YouGov co-founder Stephan Shakespeare is standing down as chief executive at the end of this month after 12 years in charge to replace Roger Parry as chairman

Transition: YouGov co-founder Stephan Shakespeare is standing down as chief executive at the end of this month after 12 years in charge to replace Roger Parry as chairman

YouGov said trading had made ‘good progress’ across all territories despite more challenging economic conditions, with the firm facing lengthier sales cycles and decision-making times by customers at the start of 2023.

For the six months to January, the company saw revenue jump by 30 per cent to £131.4million due to stronger demand for data products and its panel-based custom research business.

Since then, it has significantly boosted its net cash position following a successful £51.2million equity placing earlier this month, with some of the money raised planned to fund the intended acquisition of GfK’s consumer panel division.

The €315million (£270.3million) takeover will boost YouGov’s operations in Europe and expand its offering to the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Founded in 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare and ex-Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi, the firm sells data insights to businesses and public bodies across dozens of countries.

It was listed five years later on London’s junior AIM exchange with a market value of just £18million, which has since skyrocketed to approximately £1.1billion.

As part of a board shakeup, Shakespeare is standing down as chief executive at the end of this month after 12 years in charge to replace Roger Parry as chairman.

Steve Hatch will become the next CEO, having recently been the vice president of operations for Facebook owner Meta in Northern Europe and a non-executive director at Daily Mirror publisher Reach.

Before that, he spent 15 years at the world’s largest advertising group, WPP, rising to become head of the MEC media agency – now known as Wavemaker.

YouGov is also promoting Lynda Vivian to chief operating officer, replacing Sundip Chahal, who is being made chief business officer, while ex-TSB Bank chairman Nick Prettejohn is succeeding Rosemary Leith as senior independent director.





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