London-based WPP has announced its organic revenues grew 3.8 per cent between July to September, with its Aussie operations boasting a four per cent increase. WPP AUNZ was merged into the UK-based holding company in April 2021.
However, it wasn’t all great news for the world’s biggest media company, with China down nine per cent and Germany down 8.7 per cent in the period.
On top of that, arch-rival Publicis posted 10.3 per cent organic growth in its Q3s announced last week.
WPP expects annual revenue growth of between 6.5 per cent and seven per cent — a more confident prediction than it made in August when it was targeting a wider range of between six to seven per cent.
Highlights of the numbers announced overnight include:
- Q3 revenue +10.3 per cent; LFL revenue +2.7 per cent
- Q3 LFL revenue less pass-through costs +3.8 per cent
- Acceleration of growth on 2019 levels +10.9 per cent (Q2 +9.7 per cent, Q1 +9.2 per cent)
- Top five markets: USA +4.5 per cent, UK +4.2 per cent, Germany -8.7 per cent (+3.3 per cent excluding the impact of Covid-related contract in prior year), China -9.0 per cent, India +10.7 per cent
- Other major growth markets: Brazil +19.7 per cent, Canada +7.7 per cent
- By business sector: Global Integrated Agencies +4.3 per cent (GroupM +4.7 per cent, ex GroupM +four per cent), public relations +5.8 per cent, specialist agencies -3.9 per cent (+8.6 per cent excluding Covid-related contract above)
- $1.7 billion net new business won in Q3 and $5.1 billion net year-to-date
- £692 million of share buybacks year-to-date, total of £800 million to be completed in2022
- Full year 2022 guidance updated: LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth raisedto 6.5-7 per cent (previously 6.0-7.0 per cent); headline operating margin up 30 to 50 bps (previously up around 50 bps)
Commenting on the numbers, Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP, said: “WPP continues to show strong momentum, reflecting broad-based growth across our agencies, markets and industry sectors and the investment by our clients in marketing, ecommerce and digital transformation. Our performance on a three-year basis has continued to improve each quarter during 2022.
“Our new business success reflects the quality of our creative work, our strength in media and our ability to deliver integrated solutions to clients. During the quarter we achieved $1.7 billion of net new business, including assignments with Nestlé, Samsung and SC Johnson. Our leading scale and differentiated offer were exemplified by GroupM which led COMvergence’s new business and retention global rankings in the first half of 2022.
“Our growth over the year has been strong with full year like-for-like revenue less pass- through costs now upgraded to 6.5-7.0 per cent. We have continued to invest in our people and in data and technology to support this growth, resulting in headline operating margin now expected to be up 30 to 50 bps. We are on track with the £300 million transformation savings and will continue to manage our costs with discipline.
“We enter the last quarter of the year with confidence, based on the leading competitive position of our businesses, our client momentum and the knowledge that the actions we have taken to strengthen WPP leave us well placed to support our clients in navigating the economic uncertainties ahead.”