WPP sees revenues rise by 1.9% in third quarter

WPP has reported 1.9% revenue growth on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter of the year.

Sir Martin Sorrell: CEO of WPP
Sir Martin Sorrell: CEO of WPP
The owner of Burson-Marsteller, H+K Strategies and Cohn & Wolfe saw overall group revenues grow to £2.5bn in the third quarter. Like-for-like revenues are up 3% over the first nine months of this year.

In the UK, WPP’s revenues were up 4.7% like-for-like in the third quarter, well ahead of the previous forecast, with strong growth in advertising and media investment management, consumer insight, PR and public affairs.

However, the UK business showed slower growth in branding and identity and healthcare comms.

In constant currencies, global PR and public affairs revenues were up 3.3% but down 1.7% like-for-like, with North America down across all of the Group’s brands. This was only partly offset by strong growth in the UK, Latin America and Africa.

The company led by Sir Martin Sorrell saw its average net debt increase by £329m (-12%) to £3.105bn compared to last year.

The WPP statement read: ‘In the balance of 2012, our prime focus remains on growing revenues and gross margin faster than the industry average, driven by our leading position in the new markets, in new media, in consumer insight, including data analytics and the application of technology, creativity and "horizontality".

‘At the same time, we will place an increased emphasis on meeting our operating margin objectives by managing absolute levels of costs and increasing our flexibility in order to adapt our cost structure to significant market changes.’

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