WPP sees Q3 improvement over Q2

LONDON: The WPP Group said that like-for-like revenues for PR and public affairs dropped 8.5% for the third quarter of 2009, although the holding company sought to reinforce that overall conditions for the third quarter are "less worse" than the second quarter.

LONDON: The WPP Group said that like-for-like revenue for PR and public affairs dropped 8.5% for the third quarter of 2009, although the holding company sought to reinforce that overall conditions for the third quarter are “less worse” than the second quarter.

Like-for-like revenue for the PR and public affairs unit, which includes Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, and Public Strategies, decreased to $312.5 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Like-for-like revenues exclude the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations.

In the second quarter of 2009, like-for-like revenue dropped 9.7% in PR and public affairs. The PR and public affairs unit reported that like-for-like revenue fell 8.3% to $979.8 million in the first nine months of 2009.

The company's analyst presentation noted that all regions except for Latin America and Asia Pacific had “relative improvement compared with the second quarter.” And the company said it is focusing on three growth areas, including new media, new markets, and consumer insight.

Overall, WPP said that like-for-like revenues in 2009 were down 8.7% to $3.3 billion in the third quarter and 8.4% to $10.4 billion for the first nine months of the year. Total revenue for the group rose 16.7% in Q3, boosted by the acquisition of TNS and currency changes.

Headcount, reported as 112,565 as of December 31, 2008, fell to 101,333 as of September 30, 2009.

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