The PR and public affairs unit, which includes Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, and Cohn & Wolfe, reported $653.9 million in revenues for the first six months of 2009, compared to $577.2 million for the like period in 2008.
WPP attributed the unit's results “to increased pressure in the second quarter” and “some deterioration compared with the first quarter,” according to a company statement. For the first quarter of 2009, WPP said that like-for-like revenues for the PR and public affairs unit dropped 6.1%.
The company's advertising, consumer insight, and branding and healthcare units reported similar declines in like-for-like revenues for the same period. WPP said that direct and digitally-related activities now make up 25% of total revenues, while digital and consumer insight efforts now make up 48% of total revenues.
The Dublin-based holding company said that revenues came in at $6.9 billion for the six months ending June 30, 2009, compared to $5.4 billion for the same period a year ago. It noted in a statement that “results for July did indicate a ‘less-worse' picture.”
In June, WPP reported that overall like-for-like revenues decreased 6.7% for the first four months of 2009.
Profit for this period fell 41.7% to $224.1 million in 2009, compared to $384.5 million for the like period in 2008.
The first half of the year was impacted by additional severance costs as the group cut staff positions, but it said the measures "will improve the picture in the second half.” Like-for-like headcount dropped 6% compared to June 2008.