WPP revenue up 10.5% despite marketing taking ‘back seat’ for clients

 In Advertising, International

WPP, the owner of Group M and Ogilvy & Mather, has reported a 10.5% increase in revenue year on year to £3.08 billion for the first quarter of 2016.

In this morning’s trading update, WPP reported UK revenue at £451 million, up 8.2 per cent year on year in the three months to the end of March 2016.

But Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, warned that clients generally remain cautious, with worldwide GDP stuck in a range of 3-3.5% and a “focus on costs to achieve profit targets”.

WPP said its Q1 UK revenue growth was weaker than the first quarter of  2015, but stronger than the second half and final quarter of last year.

Net sales in the UK came in at £375 million – up 7.1% year on year – which followed a similar pattern to revenue when compared to the company’s recent performance.

Meanwhile net sales were up by 6.7% in constant currency to £2.62 billion worldwide.

The company reported that its UK advertising, media and PR business performed “strongly”, but were offset by data investment management, healthcare and direct, and digital.

On a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations, WPP’s group revenue grew by 5.1% and in constant currency was up 9 per cent, reflecting the relative weakness of the pound against the dollar and the euro.

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