WPP’s has reported a 6.2 per cent growth in its revenues in 2013 at £11.019 billion. Revenue on a constant currency basis was up 5.7 per cent as compared to the previous year. There was 2.2 per cent growth from acquisitions and 0.5 per cent growth from currency. Brazil, Russia, India and China accounted for over $2.5 billion revenues, including associates.
Like-for-like revenue growth was reported in all regions, characterised by strong growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and the UK, and all but one sector (public relations and public affairs), with strong growth in advertising and media investment management and branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications (including direct, digital and interactive).
WPP has reported a good start to 2014, with January like-for-like revenues up 5.7 per cent and gross margin or net sales up 4.1 per cent.
Reported billings for 2013 increased 4.1 per cent to £46.2 billion, driven by a strong leadership position in all net new business league tables. Estimated net new business billings of £6.119 billion ($9.791 billion) were won in the year, up over 57 per cent on last year, placing the Group first in all net new business tables. The Group continues to benefit from consolidation trends in the industry, winning assignments from existing and new clients, including several very large industry-leading advertising, digital, media, pharmaceutical and shopper marketing assignments, which partly benefitted the latter half of 2013, but the full benefit of which will be seen in Group revenues in 2014.
Headline EBITDA was up 8.0 per cent to £1.896 billion from £1.756 billion and up 8.4 per cent in constant currencies. Group revenues are more weighted to the second half of the year across all regions and functions and particularly in the faster growing markets of Asia Pacific and Latin America. As a result, the Group’s profitability and margins continue to be skewed to the second half of the year and following the strengthening of sterling in the final quarter, particularly against the currencies of the faster growth markets, the Group’s reportable operating margin was lowered.
Strategy implementation accelerated in a pre- and post-POG (Publicis Omnicom Group) world as sector targets for fast growth markets and digital have been raised from 35-40 per cent to 40-45 per cent over the next five years.
Creative and effectiveness excellence recognised again in 2013 with the award of the Cannes Lion to WPP for the most creative Holding Company for the third successive year since its inception, another to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide for the second consecutive year as the most creative agency network and another to Ogilvy Brazil as the most creative agency. For the second consecutive year, WPP was awarded the EFFIE as the most effective Holding Company.