WPP Q1 revenue down 4 per cent

It also billed for $1.7bn (£1.3bn) of new business in the first quarter

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 1, 2018 9:00 AM

WPP said its revenues fell 4 per cent to £3.6bn in the first quarter, in its first trading update since the exit of founder Sir Martin Sorrell.

Also, after removing exchange rate movements, revenues were up 2 per cent and like-for-like revenues had edged up 0.8 per cent, said WPP. It also billed for $1.7bn (£1.3bn) of new business in the first quarter.

Roberto Quarta, Executive Chairman, WPP, said, “We are pleased to announce the Group’s first quarter trading update, which is in line with our expectations. Our guidance for 2018 remains unchanged. WPP has high-quality management teams throughout the business, and they continue to deliver for our clients."

“Mark Read and Andrew Scott are providing the stability and leadership WPP requires, but there is no standing still. They have my and the Board’s full backing to review the strategy, to come back to us with recommendations, and to move forward decisively to implement our vision for the Group," added Quarta.

Allaying fears of WPP unravelling after Sorrell's exit, Mark Read and Andrew Scott, Joint Chief Operating Officers, WPP, said:

“In the last two weeks we have focused on spending time with our clients and people, and the response has been very encouraging. As expected, our people are getting on with business as usual, and our clients have expressed their continued support for and confidence in WPP. This should not come as a surprise. As we said to our people across the Group, our companies and client teams are exceptionally good at what they do. They have their own strong leaders, who hold the primary client relationships. Clients have made it very clear that they value their partners within WPP. WPP has unrivalled assets and capabilities: the world’s most-awarded creative agencies; the number one media buying and planning business; many of the world’s leading research, data and insight companies; leading positions in fast-growth markets; world-class digital brands; and strong mutual relationships with technology companies such as Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce – to name but a few. We intend to build on these strengths by taking a fresh look at our strategy, developing a vision for the Group that recognises the challenges and opportunities presented by the structural shifts in our industry, and executing resolutely against it."

Read and Scott also said that their priority is to focus on growth. "We will proactively address the under-performing parts of our business and we need to ensure that our capital is deployed to those areas that will grow fastest and maximise shareholder value. Looking ahead, we will get even closer to our clients, and provide faster, more agile, more integrated solutions with data and technology at their heart – making it simpler to access the wealth of talent, creativity and capabilities we have within WPP," they added.

“Concentrating our efforts on stimulating growth for our clients, and organising the Group to make that possible, is the best way to restore growth for WPP and all its stakeholders," they further said.

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