Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, said that the holding companyâ€™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, â€śAs 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.â€ť
However, Read conceded that the path ahead is not smooth. â€śAs we have said before, it will take time to address the companyâ€™s legacy issues, but we are committed to taking all the actions necessary to position WPP for future success,â€ť he said.
Leading the charge of WPPâ€™s transformation from the front, Read was confident of making good progress in implementing his three-year strategy to return WPP to sustainable growth.
â€śOur newly formed agencies are showing initial signs of success in new business pitches. The most recent merger, Wunderman Thompson, has followed VMLY&Râ€™s strong start by winning Duracellâ€™s international creative account. BCW has brought in nearly $70 million in new business in its first year,â€ť he said.
Talking about his key priority in 2019, Read said that WPP will invest further in senior creative talent in the United States.