WPP: Q3 “Less Worse” Than Q2

By Kiran Aditham Comment


WPP held its earnings call this morning and the best summation Sir Martin Sorrell & Co. could offer was that Q3 was “less worse” than Q2. According to the release, revenue during the 3-month period ending September 30 rose 16.7% year-on-year to approximately $907 million. But this figure doesn’t reflect acquisitions like TNS and currency fluctuations, so if we’re talking reality here, like-for-like revenue growth was actually down 8.7%. Still, WPP can at least take solace in the fact that this is well below Q2’s 10.5% drop.

“There is little doubt that consumer and corporate confidence has recovered somewhat from the panic [of Q4 ’08 and Q1 ’09],” WPP said in its earnings call. But the company is quick to note that it will be “even Stevens” for its 2010 budgets, saying that if there is a recovery, expect a slow one.

While the least affected regions of revenue growth/decline continue to be Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe, Western Continental Europe took the biggest hit followed by the U.S. and U.K.

On the job front, while Sorrell did warn of cuts this year to the tune of 7,200, Paid Content says that he unfortunately exceeded this number. According to the report, headcount is now 11,232 lower than it was at December 31, 2008, denoting a 10% drop in staff overall.

More: “Never Mind the Earnings, WPP Sees Stock Rise