Kantar has topped the latest Market Research Society (MRS) League Tables, published as part of the Research Live Industry Report 2020, with a turnover of £459m.
Published today ( 11th December), the League Tables rank the top-performing research businesses based on their UK turnover and international work managed and invoiced from the UK. The rankings are based on 2018 financial data analysed during 2019.
Kantar was the top individual agency by turnover, as well as topping the list of consolidated businesses, which draws agencies together under ownership groups, where appropriate.
This year, WPP sold 60% of Kantar to private equity firm Bain Capital in a transaction that concluded this month. The firm also consolidated its various Kantar sub-brands under one brand name earlier in 2019.
In both the individual agencies and consolidated business rankings, Gartner was ranked second, with Dunnhumby, the previous year’s number one in the individual table, placed third.
Elsewhere in the tables, MIG Global ranked as the top fastest-growing individual agency, while GlobalData was number one in the table of fastest-growing businesses.
MIG Global is the insights division of Next 15 Communications plc, which this year merged its data and insights agencies under a new name – Savanta Group.
The top 100 individual agencies generated a collective turnover of £3.6bn in 2018. Year-on-year growth was 3.9% – slower than the growth seen in 2017. Of the top 100 agencies, over half ( 57%) recorded growth and the top 10 companies accounted for 56.5% of total turnover.
The report also publishes findings from the MRS Industry Survey, including that the UK research supply industry grew by 0.7% to £5.078bn in 2018.
Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, said: “The UK research sector has proved highly resilient to the increased risk and disruption of the past year that has hit many other industries. It remains the largest research sector in the world per capita and the report reflects the continued significance of face-to-face research skills, brains, innovation and creativity to the success of agencies.”