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WPP India’s revenue drops 1.4% YoY in first quarter

As per WPP, the decline of 1.4% in Indian markets reflects the impact of macroeconomic uncertainty at the beginning of the quarter and phasing against the comparative Q1 2022 which saw strong growth of 25.1%

WPP India registered a decline of 1.4% in LFL revenue owing to macroeconomic uncertainty in the January-March quarter of 2023, as per the interim results declared by the group.

As per WPP, the decline of 1.4% in Indian markets reflects the impact of macroeconomic uncertainty at the beginning of the quarter and phasing against the comparative Q1 of 2022 which saw strong growth of 25.1%.

Globally, WPP reported revenue of 3,460 million pounds in Q1 of this year, marking an 11.9% YoY increase. LFL revenue rose by 4.9% in the January-March quarter compared to the same period in the previous year.

The revenue less pass-through costs of WPP stood at 2,829 million pounds, up 2.9% on an LFL basis and 9.9% on reported basis, in Q1 of this financial year.

The other countries included in the top five markets for WPP, apart from India, are- USA (+2.3%), UK (+7.4%), Germany (+4.0%) and China (-13.0%).

“Declines in China, India and Brazil were partially offset by growth in Japan, Australia and smaller markets,” WPP said.

WPP also pointed out that it saw encouraging growth against last year’s first quarter which was the strongest LFL growth quarter of the year. 

“Performance was broad-based across all our business lines and regions. GroupM, our media planning and buying business, performed strongly, reflecting its unparalleled global scale and the strength of its integrated digital and offline offer,” it stated.

Further, it added, “Our momentum in new business continues with $1.5 billion of net new business in the quarter. Account wins include work for Adobe (media), Ford (social media), Maruti Suzuki (media), Mondelez (production), Lloyds Banking Group (technology), and Swissport (public relations).”

Along with this, WPP, in its trading update, also mentioned that its revenue less pass-through costs from Global Integrated Agencies stood at 2,307 million pounds, Public Relations- at 292 million pounds, and Specialist Agencies- at 230 million pounds in Q1 of 2023. The sum total of all the agencies' revenue stood at 2,829 million pounds, up from the previous quarter of the previous year, which stood at 2,574 million pounds.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said, “We have seen a positive start to the year, in line with expectations, reflecting continued spending by clients in communications, customer experience, commerce, data and technology to support their businesses and brands.” 

“We are continuing to strengthen the company – winning new clients, hiring new creative leadership, investing in our technology platforms and data, making three acquisitions in the growth areas of healthcare and influencer marketing and bringing in a minority partner to FGS Global. Our focus on AI over the last five years is paying off, with many examples of our work with clients, using the main AI platforms, in-market today,” he added.

Moreover, in its 2023 financial guidance, the advertising company also pointed out that the holding company anticipated that mergers and acquisitions will add 0.5-1.0% to revenue less pass- through costs growth.

Read said, “We remain on track to deliver our full-year guidance, thanks to the competitiveness of our offer and our role as a modern, trusted partner to clients in a world further disrupted by technology.”

For 2023, WPP had forecasted that LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth will be 3-5%.

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