WPP Reports Slow Growth in Third Quarter

Rival companies surge ahead

WPP’s third-quarter growth lagged behind that of its rivals as worldwide economic conditions took a toll on the advertising and marketing conglomerate’s growth, the Guardian reported today.

While analysts predicted full-year growth to hit 6 percent, the company saw growth in the third quarter fall to 4.7 percent on revenues of $3.95 billion. It had previously reported growth of 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and 5.6 percent in the second quarter.

WPP’s biggest rivals, meanwhile, all delivered stronger third-quarter results, with Havas, Omnicom, and Publicis reporting respective growth rates of 7.3 percent, 7.2 percent, and 6.4 percent.

Growth in the U.S. and Western Europe took a toll on the company’s results. In North America, where WPP said there had been an “anticipated slowing,” like-for-like revenue growth fell to 1.7 percent, while growth in Western Europe was even slower, at just 1.3 percent.

Numbers in the U.K., however, “improved significantly” with like-for-like revenues up 6.7 percent, while revenue in emerging markets—including Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe—saw a 10.5 percent boost.

In the months ahead, the company warned that “the continuous macro-economic gloom and despair in the media and elsewhere must have some impact on both corporate and consumer confidence,” but said that “despite current uncertainties, the prospects do not look dire” for 2012.

Recommended articles