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GfK expanding in Africa

GfK acquires South African market research company GlobalEDGE Marketing Consultants.

With effect from 1 October 2012, GfK completed the full acquisition of South African market research organisation GlobalEDGE Marketing Consultants. This move further strengthens the Group's presence in the Consumer Experiences sector on the African market.

Established in 2002, GlobalEDGE Marketing Consultants is one of the leading market research organisations in South Africa. The company uses qualitative and quantitative methods to research the habits and attitudes of African consumers.

The "ShopperLINK" consumer panel, which is representative of South African households, significantly contributes to the success of GlobalEDGE. The close relationships cultivated by GlobalEDGE with its FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) clients will enable GfK to further expand its consumer panel business in South Africa. GlobalEDGE laid strong foundations for the panel by completing the concept and an initial test phase in 2009 and 2010. This acquisition represents an expansion of the regional portfolio of GfK's Consumer Experiences sector, which will be gaining both an experienced team and an exceptional infrastructure for the continued expansion of the consumer panel. This is the first and only panel in South Africa to use modern in-home scanning technology. From now on, the company will be offering the entire spectrum of consumer panel analysis services developed by GfK specialists.

The company's founder, Graeme Taylor, was among the first to establish a high quality fact-based consultancy service on the African continent. In recent years, his successors, Bradley and Craig Taylor, have provided clients with data from a total of 33 countries right across Africa. The client base includes international groups such as Bayer, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, French Telecom, Kraft, McDonalds, Nestlé, Parmalat, Pernod Ricard, Orange and Unilever. In addition to clients in the consumer goods segment, telecommunications and financial service providers will also be among the primary beneficiaries of GfK's panel and tracking research.

The company, which has a staff complement of 51, maintains offices in Durban and Johannesburg. In financial year 2011, sales totaled €3.4 million. GlobalEDGE will be fully integrated into the activities of GfK South Africa.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with more than 11,500 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK's sales amounted to €1.37 billion.

Since January 1, 2012, GfK has been focusing on the two complementary sectors of Consumer Choices and Consumer Experiences.

The Consumer Choices sector investigates what's selling when and where. It focuses on the continuous assessment of market segments and trends by analysing all major sales and information channels and media. The former Retail and Technology sector and the Media sector's TV, radio and print measurement businesses have been folded into the new Consumer Choices sector.

The Consumer Experiences sector concentrates on consumers' attitudes, perceptions and behaviour, and answers the questions who is buying, why they are buying and how they are buying? These are explored though highly creative, robust and flexible methodologies. GfK is pioneering sophisticated new ways of understanding how people experience brands and services. The former Custom Research business and ad hoc research from the Media sector are included in this new sector.

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