WPP are claiming better than expected third quarter numbers, despite revenues being down 7.6 per cent like-for-like on 2019.
Putting today’s results in perspective, the world’s biggest media company had its numbers smashed in Q2, they were down 15.1 per cent at the peak of COVID.
Revenues were down across every territory, with China suffering a massive 16.7 per cent drop in the quarter.
Highlighlights (or is that lowlights?) of Q3 included:
- Q3 revenue -9.8%; LFL revenue -5.5%
- Q3 LFL revenue less pass-through costs -7.6%
- Top five markets Q3 LFL revenue less pass-through costs: US -5.5%; UK -6.5%; Germany -1.8%; Greater China -16.7%; India -16.3%
- Continued good momentum in new business: $1.6 billion won in Q3, taking the year-to-date wins to $5.6 billion
- Strong liquidity and balance sheet, supported by tight working capital management: year-todate average net debt £2.5 billion, down £2.0 billion year-on-year 8
- On track to be towards upper end of £700-800 million cost reduction target
- Full year 2020 LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth and headline operating margin expected to be within the range of latest analysts’ expectations
WPP CEO Mark Read commented: “WPP continues to demonstrate its resilience in a challenging market. We have maintained our new business momentum as clients seek out our creativity and our skills in media, technology, data and e-commerce.
“This month, Uber joined a growing list of major assignment wins that includes Alibaba, Dell, HSBC, Intel, Unilever and Whirlpool, and we continue to lead the new business rankings. We have also renewed and expanded our relationship with Walgreens Boots Alliance to encompass its data- and technology-driven marketing strategy.
“Given the tightening of COVID restrictions around the world and uncertainty in the global economic outlook, we remain cautious about the pace of recovery. It is important that we maintain our strong financial position and we are on track to achieve cost savings towards the upper end of our £700- 800 million target.
“Our people have done a superb job in serving our clients, largely working from home, but the events of 2020 have of course created new pressures for everyone. We have increased our investment in employee support services, with a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing, and this will be an ongoing priority for our leadership.”
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