Q4 revenue down slightly at WPP PR shops

Weak PR results also drove down North American holding company revenue.

LONDON: WPP’s PR firms saw a 0.1% revenue decrease in Q4 2019. 

The holding company touted the PR revenue numbers as a “significant improvement” when compared to Q3 2019, when WPP’s PR shops saw a 0.9% revenue drop, and the first half of the year, when its PR firms were down 1.5%. However, the 0.1% Q4 2019 revenue decrease was down in comparison to a 1.2% increase in Q4 2018

WPP called out Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Finsbury, Glover Park Group, Hering Schuppener, Buchanan and Clarion for “performing strongly” in Q4. 

The holding company also said the weak Q4 performance of the North American PR and specialist agencies was reflected in its 4.5% decrease on a like-for-like basis in the region for WPP as a whole. 

WPP PR revenue dropped 1% for the full year to $1.2 billion on a like-for-like basis less pass-through costs.

As a whole, WPP’s like-for-like revenue dipped 1.9% in Q4 and 1.6% to $14 billion for the year. The holding company’s after-tax profit dropped by 29.4% to $910 million in 2019 on a like-for-like basis. WPP also said it expects flat revenue for the rest of this year


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