“We Have High-Quality Management”: WPP Releases First-Quarter Results Post-Sorrell

Advertising giant WPP has released its first financial results since the exit of CEO Martin Sorrell a fortnight ago.

Surprisingly, the company’s first-quarter results for 2018 have reported stronger than expected net sales.

WPP reported a revenue of $6.5 billion, down 4 per cent from the same quarter in 2017.

While revenue less pass-through costs, otherwise known as net sales, dropped 0.1 per cent in the first three months of 2018.

As well as this, WPP posted a net new business of $1.737 billion in billings won in the first quarter.

Speaking on the results, WPP’s new executive chairman Roberto Quarta 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.”

Despite the numbers being stronger than predicted by analysts, this quarter was WPP’s worst performing since 2010.

WPP joint chief operating officers Mark Read and Andrew Scott added, “In the last two weeks we have focused on spending time with our clients and people, and the response has been very encouraging.

“Our 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.

“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.”

The results follow Martin Sorrell’s recent departure from WPP amid allegations of personal misconduct.

According to Campaign, Sorrell’s compensation had been continually dropping year-on-year since 2011.

Sorrell was paid $24 million in 2017, compared to the $87.9 in 2016, a drop of 71 per cent. Last year was the lowest figure Sorrell had earned since 2011.

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