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Expectations for the full year are unchanged despite a challenging first half, says WPP CEO Mark Read

However, Read concedes that the path ahead is not smooth

Mark Read

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, said that the holding company’s expectations for the full year were unchanged even as the company was facing a challenging first half. WPP reported a decline of 2.8% in sales after blue-chip client losses in US in the first quarter of 2019.

In the first quarter update, Read said, “As anticipated, our first quarter trading update reflects the impact of certain significant client losses in 2018, in particular in the United States. Although we face a challenging year, especially in the first half, I am encouraged by how well our people, agencies and clients are responding to our new strategic direction. Our expectations for the full year are unchanged.”

However, Read conceded that the path ahead is not smooth. “As we have said before, it will take time to address the company’s legacy issues, but we are committed to taking all the actions necessary to position WPP for future success,” he said.

Leading the charge of WPP’s transformation from the front, Read was confident of making good progress in implementing his three-year strategy to return WPP to sustainable growth.

“Our newly formed agencies are showing initial signs of success in new business pitches. The most recent merger, Wunderman Thompson, has followed VMLY&R’s strong start by winning Duracell’s international creative account. BCW has brought in nearly $70 million in new business in its first year,” he said.

Talking about his key priority in 2019, Read said that WPP will invest further in senior creative talent in the United States.

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