As the old adage doesn’t quite put it: 'It’s an ill wind that blows market research companies no good!'

Market and audience research giant Taylor Nelson Sofres is no exception to the rule that its sector tends to prosper while the icy draughts of recession chill the advertising and media industries.

The London-headquartered global researcher announced Monday that pre-tax profits for 2001 rose 15% to £43.5 million ($62.10m; €70.32m), while turnover increased by 21.6% to £582.7m. The numbers mirrored analysts’ forecasts.

Said chief executive Michael Kirkham: “Against a difficult economic environment, we estimate that the market information industry grew by 5% in 2001, demonstrating its relative resilience. Having entered the year with the order book ahead of last year, we are confident we can continue our steady growth in 2002.”

He added that TNS’ eye remains firmly fixed on improving margins even as it develops new services and roves acquisition targets.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff