BUSINESS LIVE YouGov sales accelerate; Hipgnosis shake-up; Meta shares soar

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are YouGov, Revolution Beauty and Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Read the Friday 2 February Business Live blog below.

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Hipgnosis shake-up amid Songs fund spat

Hipgnosis Songs Management (HSM), the investment adviser to the eponymous music royalties fund, said on Friday its founder Merck Mercuriadis would handover the CEO’s position to chief operating officer Ben Katovsky, and take on the role of chairman.

It comes amid a spat with the board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which is undergoing a strategic view that could see it wound up and its assets sold.

The board say a call option held by HSM, which would entitle it to buy HSF’s assets, is hurting the value of the portfolio and putting off potential buyers.

Facebook owner Meta to pay first dividend as three tech giants post bumper figures

Facebook owner Meta said it will pay its first dividend as three of the world’s biggest tech firms posted bumper figures.

In an announcement last night, the social media giant proposed a divi of $0.50 per share in a major boost for investors.

It came as Meta posted revenues of £106billion for 2023, up 16 per cent from the year before.

YouGov sales accelerate

YouGov expects to meet profit forecasts after the data and research group saw sales momentum accelerate in the second quarter after a slow start to its financial year.

The group said: ‘The board remains cognisant of the challenging market conditions and client budget pressures as we move into the second half of the financial year.

‘Clients are increasingly looking for high-quality, data-driven solutions, and while we continue to experience longer sales cycles, we remain confident in our products and our sales momentum which, after a slow Q1, has significantly accelerated in Q2.’