The UK's market research industry experienced a flat year in terms of revenues, according to figures from the outgoing British Market Research Association.
The BMRA, which was officially merged with Market Research Society on April 1, reveals that overall revenues grew by just 2.5% against inflation in 2005 to a value of £1.32 billion ($2.49bn; €1.93bn).
However, there was a sharp difference between domestic and international markets in the performance of UK-headquartered research companies.
The domestic sector, which makes up 79% of the market, grew by 4.7% on the previous year, significantly above inflation. At the same time, the international sector, which makes up 21% of the market, declined by 5.0%, undoing about half the strong growth achieved in 2004.
The industry league table of market research agency performance suggests that some of the largest companies may have been distracted by consolidation activity.
There is also evidence that the international market proved more difficult for some companies than others, with much more year-on-year movement in the rankings for international turnover than for domestic.
Opines Ivor Stocker, chairman of the BMRA leading up to its merger with the MRS: "Continued uneasiness about global security and the impact of rising oil prices may have dampened spending among some of the multi-nationals."
He adds: "We are not anticipating significant growth above inflation in 2006."
The league tables are available for download at www.bmra.org.uk
Data sourced from MrWeb.com; additional content by WARC staff