Nielsen Holdings NV (
Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference Call
February 27, 2012 5:10 pm ET
Brian J. West – Chief Financial Officer
Toni Kaplan – Morgan Stanley
Toni Kaplan – Morgan Stanley
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All right, let’s get started. Please note that all important disclosures including personal holding disclosures and Morgan Stanley disclosures appear on the Morgan Stanley public website at www.morganstanley.com/researchdisclosures.
I’m Toni Kaplan from Morgan Stanley Equity Research and it’s my pleasure to introduce Brian West, Chief Financial Officer of Nielsen Holdings; and Liz Zale, SVP of Investor Relations.
Nielsen was the third largest U.S. IPO last year and is a leading provider of audience and retail measurement for companies in the consumer packaged goods, retail, media and telecom industries among others. Brian has been CFO of Nielsen since 2007 and prior to joining the company he worked at GE for 16 years. Thanks very much for being here today.
First maybe you could provide a brief overview and then I’ll ask a couple of questions and we’ll pick up the Q&A.
Brian J. West
Great, thank you. It’s a great to be here. We had a pretty
exciting first year as a public company. As Toni mentioned, I’ve been around since ‘07. And in those five years, the resilience of this business model, the range of opportunities that are in front of us and the ability of our team to execute just keeps expanding and expanding and I have no doubt that will continue.
2011 was big for us in two fronts. The first is around understanding retail measurement coverage and all about what consumers buy and it was big because we expanded that coverage. And for us as long as we are expanding our coverage of retail transactions, it’s good for this business and its good for us and are helping our clients to understand those consumers.
So whether it was accelerating investments in places like rural India, rural China and Africa or an acquisition that gave us a better platform in Eastern Europe with any MRB. Our developing markets business are powerful to big franchise and it’s a better at of the big macro trend that we follow, which is more people moving into the middle class,
happen all over the world. Our clients are going after and we’re helping them to do it.
Likewise in developed markets, retail expansion is just hasn’t for in and we’re proud to announce last year a Wal-Mart was going to come back into the fold in the U.S. market and share its retail data which was significant since they represents to big part of coverage in this market. And we’re there with them and we’re excited about the opportunity prevents not just for Wal-Mart but manufacturers and the industry as a whole.
The other part, the second part was to tell you about 2011 was our abilities around the measuring content, no matter where it happens and whether it was the first to credit measurement of online ad campaigns, we call online campaign ratings or work we’ve done around trying to get local markets better measurements or even some of our mobile properties, making these platforms extended and integrated as a big deal and we had a nice progress in 2011.
Finally to cap up 2011, results financial expression was great, we matter be just about every number revenue was up 6%, margin expansion was 57 basis points, head of the range we also had earnings, adjusted net income growth of over 30%. And most importantly, we're able to delever faster than we thought. We got to under four times leverage by paying down debt outside of the IPO proceeds $380 million voluntarily.
So we thought good across the board, as I think about 2012, I just like to make a couple of comments, recently we talked about guidance in the fourth quarter of revenue being up 5% to 7% constant currency and margin expanding 30 to 50 points, many haven’t heard that the impact of Wal-Mart will impact these results.
So we fully expect that first half of the year will be towards the 5% end of the range. And as we ramp in the second half of the year just by the virtue
of the fact
that the Wal-Mart data gets
turned on. We will grow faster than the second half of the year, all expected all there I want to say visibility of that revenue stream.
We also know that as we invest in the first half of the year, we are going to be investing more to implement that Wal-Mart. So margins are not going to be expanding on the first half as much as they will in the second half. Just want to make sure that people understand us the way to 2012 will present itself very confident in the total picture.
Also I would like to comment that our adjusted income product grow on a constant currency basis a range of 13% to 17% very good earnings power, driven by our deleveraging situation as well as the very attractive tax position.
And finally, we talked on a quarterly call recently around the impact of foreign exchange. Like many of my clients were big CPG companies that do business all around the world, (inaudible) in 100 countries matters and the reported results has nothing to do with the economic impact of our business because we don’t take on transaction exposure.