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GfK Group expands its Retail and Technology sector

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Press release

Nuremberg, April 8, 2009 - The GfK Group is expanding its Retail and Technology network by acquiring UK market research com-pany Ascent-MI, by increasing its stake in France's IFR Monitoring Group, and with the acquisition of the American C.L.E.A.R. contact lens panel.

On April 1 2009, the GfK Group acquired UK market research company, Ascent Market Intelligence (Ascent-MI), completely. The company gathers retail data about the leisure and travel market outside the UK, and also works with the UK travel industry to produce forecasts on future travel bookings based on current bookings. Clients include TUI, Thomas Cook and Last Minute. The company's data and services supplement the existing tourism business of the GfK Retail and Technology sector in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and enable more detailed regional reports and analyses for the European market to be produced. A further tourism panel is currently being set up in Russia.

Under the leadership of Managing Director Sarah Smalley, the company generated sales of a good EUR 0.5 million in 2008. In future, the company will operate under the name GfK Ascent-MI Limited.