WPP PR, public affairs revenue down 1% in Q3

WPP Group's PR and public affairs revenue dropped 0.9% on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter to nearly $371 million.

LONDON: WPP Group's PR and public affairs revenue dropped 0.9% on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter to nearly $371 million.

In the first nine months of the year, the segment's revenue declined 2.7% on a like-for-like basis to $1.1 billion.

PR and public affairs showed “marked improvement over the second quarter” in North America, Western Continental Europe, and Asia-Pacific, WPP said in an earnings statement. It added that, based on Q3 forecasts, “the final quarter of the year shows a return to like-for-like growth” in the sector.

WPP's PR and public affairs group has reported revenue decreases in a string of quarters, including a drop of 3.1% on a like-for-like basis in Q2 to nearly $366 million. In the first quarter, it saw a 4.1% like-for-like decrease in revenue to about $341.7 million. Like-for-like revenue was down 1% for full-year 2012, and it decreased 1.7% in Q3 2012. In Q2 of last year, the PR and public affairs group reported like-for-like revenue growth of 0.3%.

The London-based holding company owns and operates Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Ogilvy Public Relations, among others.

The umbrella group saw growth in Q3 in all regions and sectors except for PR and public affairs, it said in an earnings statement. Geographically, the segment reported revenue increases in Asia-Pacific and Africa. 

Overall, WPP posted a 5% revenue increase on a like-for-like basis in Q3 to $4.3 billion, compared with the same period of last year. For the first nine months of the year, the London-based company reported a revenue increase of 3.3% on a like-for-like basis to $12.9 billion.

WPP earned $3.7 billion in net new business in the third quarter, compared with $1.4 billion in the same period of last year. The company earned nearly $7.9 billion in net new business in the first nine months of the year, compared with $5.4 billion in the first nine months of 2012.

North America saw a revenue increase of 4.6% on a like-for-like basis in Q3 to $1.5 billion. Revenue in North America grew 2% on a like-for-like basis to $4.5 billion in the first nine months of 2013.

Like-for-like growth represents change in revenue without taking into account the impact of currency change, acquisitions, or disposals.

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