Advertising giant WPP AUNZ has delivered a slight rise in overall revenue for the 2017 calendar year despite three of its segments going backwards.
The group posted a 0.6 per cent increase in revenue to $869.9 million in the 12 months to 31 December 2017, which it said was delivered against soft macro conditions and a flat media market.
WPP AUNZ’s headline profit before tax was up 31 per cent to $125 million, which it noted was driven by better cash collection and improved debt margin driving a decline in interest expense.
Expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was down 2.1 per cent to $137.8 million for the 2017 calendar year.
WPP AUNZ’s advertising, media and investment management arm was the only business segment to see an uplift in revenue (up $24.1 million to $485.8 million).
Meanwhile, the three other divisions – data investment management, PR and public affairs, and branding and identity and specialist communications – all saw revenue fall last year.
WPP AUNZ boss Michael Connaghan said the business had been “resilient in soft market conditions”, with headline results coming in above the group’s guidance back in October.
“On a divisional basis, our business has experienced a two-speed performance,” he said.
“Advertising and media investment management are leading the pack, growing their market position with robust new business wins.
“Our digital business continues to perform strongly, with good client momentum.
“In data investment management, public relations and public affairs, and in some production businesses, we have experienced pressure from both market softness and individual company underperformance.”
Connaghan said WPP AUNZ’s focus for 2018 will be on investing in future growth via its production, data and marketing infrastructure, along with its people and culture.
“This year we will roll out an equity staff incentive scheme aimed at retaining the best people in the market,” he added.