Even in volatile times (especially in volatile times?) market research prospers.

London-headquartered TNS Group, the globe's second largest research group (after Dutch information giant VNU) is no exception. Profit before tax in 2003, including joint ventures and excluding goodwill charges and integration costs, was £65.3 million ($120.06m; €96.55m), up 43% year-on-year from £48.8m.

Mike Kirkham, chief executive, also reported that the integration of US-based NFO WorldGroup, purchased in July from Interpublic, was progressing ahead of plan. The newcomer had contributed £162.3m to group revenues of £642.9m.

Kirkham was also positive about the market outlook for 2004, led by growth in the US and Asia-Pacific. The predicted upturn in market conditions is supported by the group's order book: "TNS will achieve turnover growth ahead of the market," he predicted

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff