UPDATE 4-Nielsen trims revenue outlook on Europe fears

Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:12pm EDT

* Cuts revenue growth range to 5-6 pct from 5-7 pct

* Shares fall 3.5 pct

June 13 (Reuters) - Nielsen Holdings NV, best known for its TV ratings, narrowed its full-year revenue forecast range as Europe's economic crisis cuts into corporate spending.

The market research leader now expects revenue to grow 5 percent to 6 percent, down from its previous forecast of 5 percent to 7 percent.

The operating environment has become very difficult in Western Europe, which is affecting clients' discretionary spending, Chief Financial Officer Brian West said at an analyst conference on Wednesday.

"Certain multinational corporations are being very deliberate in how they invest around the world," West said.

Western Europe is going to be a pressure point, affecting the Insights business, which provides clients with in-depth analytics on their customers.

The Insights product in Western Europe is apparently down at a double-digit rate currently, Evercore Partners analyst Douglas Arthur wrote in a note.

Insights is a part of Nielsen's Buy segment, which brought in more than 60 percent of the company's $5.53 billion revenue last year.

Nielsen's significant exposure to Europe is likely to weigh on growth for more than just the second half of 2012, analyst Arthur said.

Europe, Middle East and Africa brought in about a quarter of the company's revenue last year.

"Foreign exchange headwind is going to be significant as we go through the year," West said.

Nielsen, which went public in January last year, competes with GfK SE, Ipsos and WPP unit Kantar in its Buy business.

The company has a market value of $10 billion and counts Coca Cola Co, News Corp and Procter & Gamble among its top clients.

The company reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast of $1.76 to $1.82 per share.

Shares of the company, which have gained 11 percent since their market debut last year, fell 3.5 percent in morning trade on Wednesday. They were trading down 1 percent at $27.51 on the New York Stock Exchange.