WPP sees 6.7 per cent like-for-like revenue drop in first four months of 2009

Sir Martin Sorrell's marketing services group WPP has seen like-for-like revenues fall 6.7% in the first four months of 2009.

Sorrell: WPP sees 6.7 per cent like-for-like revenue drop
Sorrell: WPP sees 6.7 per cent like-for-like revenue drop

In April, the firm said like-for-like sales were down 5.8 per cent during the first quarter, indicating deterioration in its April trading.

At its annual general meeting in Dublin today the firm stated: ‘As in the first quarter, the economic pressure was most keenly felt in the United States and this has spread to the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, although Eastern Continental Europe still shows revenue growth for the first four months of 2009.'

Despite these difficult trading conditions, it said Latin America and Africa still showing like-for-like growth.

The company said public relations and public affairs business had been moderately affected by the downturn, with its information, insight and consultancy work most affected.  

As a result of the tough trading environment, the group will continue to reduce headcount and associated staff costs. In the first four months of 2009 the number of staff fell by almost 4,300 or 3.7 per cent.

Worldwide reported revenues were up actually up 33.7 per cent over the period. But profit before tax was down ‘significantly' on the previous year due to its acquisition of Taylor Nelson Sofres.

Later today shareholders will vote on whether to approve a bonus scheme that could net Sorrell as much as £60m if all targets are hit.

 

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