WPP posts £3.46bn revenue in Q1; on track to deliver full-year guidance

Advertising holding company WPP said that it’s on track to deliver its full-year guidance for 2023, after posting an 11.9% reported increase in revenue in the first quarter.

[click to enlarge]: Overview of WPP Q1 earnings

The group delivered £3.46 billion (A$6.52 billion) in revenue during the period. While the revenue growth rate on a reported basis was faster than the last corresponding period‘s 6.7%, it was slower on a like-for-like basis (4.9%) compared to last year’s 8.1%.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “We have seen a positive start to the year, in line with expectations, reflecting continued spending by clients in communications, customer experience, commerce, data and technology to support their businesses and brands.


“We remain on track to deliver our full year guidance, thanks to the competitiveness of our offer and our role as a modern, trusted partner to clients in a world further disrupted by technology.

“We are continuing to strengthen the company – winning new clients, hiring new creative leadership, investing in our technology platforms and data, making three acquisitions in the growth areas of healthcare and influencer marketing and bringing in a minority partner to FGS Global.

“Our focus on AI over the last five years is paying off, with many examples of our work with clients, using the main AI platforms, in-market today.”

By business segments, Global Integrated Agencies (including GroupM, Ogilvy, Wunderman Thompson and Grey) reported £2.3 billion (A$4.33 billion) in revenue less pass-through costs.

[click to enlarge]: revenue by business sectors

GroupM’s standalone revenue less pass-through costs (approximately 36% of WPP’s total figure in Q1) was up 6.1%. However, GroupM had 12.8% growth for the same metric in the last corresponding period.

By region, WPP said that declines in China, India and Brazil were partially offset by growth in Japan, Australia and smaller markets. The top markets were the US, the UK and Germany.

[click to enlarge]: Regional revenue overview

The group reiterated its guidance for 2023, including life for like revenue less pass-through costs growth of 3-5% and an operating margin of around 15% (excluding the impact of FX).

WPP’s results came after Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe and Havas Group reported their Q1 earnings recently.

The group’s previous close price was £916.2 (A$1728.56). Its market cap sits at £10.14 billion (A$19.13 billion) as of 28 April.


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