Nielsen Holdings' Management Presents At 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media And Telecom Conference (Transcript)

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NLSN)

40 th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference

May 15, 2012 10:40 AM ET


Andrew Steinerman – JP Morgan

Brian West – CFO

Steve Hasker – President, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions


Andrew Steinerman

All right, let’s settle down. This is the info-services track of the TMT Conference. Thanks for joining us. I’m Andrew Steinerman, your business information services analyst. I’m pleased to be with my colleague Dave Lewis on your left here. This is the Nielsen presentation. Thanks for joining us. I think we have a great line up here of the top management of Nielsen. On my left is CFO, Brian West. After him is Steve Hasker, he heads up the Watch product; and Liz Zale of IR is on my right here.

So why don’t we just start, if it’s okay, Brian. For people who are less familiar with Nielsen or might just think Nielsen is just Watch, could you give an overall view, profile of the company, the mix of business and then transition to what are the longer-term growth ambitions, organic, and what are your margin ambitions over the intermediate term?

Brian West

Sure, great. Is this on, we good? All right. Thank you and thanks for having us here. Nielsen is all about being wrapped around two fundamental engagements with the consumer; what they watch, what they buy. And no one else has those two fundamental engagements, and believe it or not, they work together. So one, we’re unique in that front, and two, we do it all over the world, 100 countries.

And for us, our Buy business is about two-thirds of the revenues of the company, and that is very much all around helping multi-national clients like Pepsi, Nestlé, Procter and Coke figure out what their market share is and how they grow their businesses all around the world, including this market. So it’s a big part – it’s a bigger part of the business. It’s been around for a long, long time; multi-year contracts, very high renewal rates.

And right now for us, what we are following in the Buy business is this big macro trend of more people entering the middle-class in emerging markets, bringing a ton of purchasing power with them. Our clients see it. We see it. We invest ahead of it, and over the last five years, the revenues we collect in our Buy business in the developing world have doubled; over a $1 billion franchise. So it’s a big part of a big macro trend and a big investment profile that we see for the company.

That side of the business is all about following consumption, following coverage, and as long as we continue to follow consumption, you know what people take in and we do – where they are living and working in all around the world, that’s coverage, we’ll be just fine. As a matter of fact, as we continue to expand coverage, it deepens the moat we have and makes the moat move bigger, because we’re in a 100 countries; my next biggest competitor is in eight countries. And it’s because we have for decades continued to extend the competitive advantage by continuing to cover the consumer.

On the Watch side, the other third of the business, it’s – the foundation is a TV ratings business, largely in the U.S.; that again helps our advertiser and our media clients understand audiences and understand how audiences behave, how they consume video, no matter what distribution platform they’re on or what device they use it on. So for us, again, as long as we continue to understand consumption of video and advertising, and we can do it and cover any way they get that, it’s again increase the competitive moat we have in the business.

So on that side, we are investing heavily in understanding how we measure across platforms, be it online, mobile devices or how you’d consume a tablet, smartphone. Those are the investments in that side of the business and the ones we feel great about, because as you look out over time, the consumption of television, online, mobile and video and audience lift is just increasing across the board. And it’s not like a zero-sum game; we see a very expanding pie as marketers look to attract those audiences.

So, a big part of the business, margins in the Watch side higher than the Buy side, just by virtue of the fact of the competitive positions as well as the investments we have; and ones that we think over the long-term as long as we continue to expand coverage broadly either Watch or Buy and we continue to follow consumption, there are investments we’ll make and returns that we’ll provide to investors over the long-term that are attractive and in excess, and we feel great about it.

So I’m happy to have with me here Steve Hasker, who could answer anymore on the Watch side as that might come up.

Andrew Steinerman

Okay. Could you be specific about intermediate term growth ambitions for the overall…

Brian West


Andrew Steinerman

Condition where margin ambitions might be as well?

Brian West

Sure. So the growth for us over the long-term, meaning over cycles that might go up or down, we’ve always said mid single-digit growth company, right. And we did that because coming out of the 2008, 2009 timeframe, it’s about what the company did. So we figured that if we could remind investors that over any cycle this thing is resilient, you can count the Nielsen to grow.

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