NEWS30 October 2009

WPP sees improved performance from insight division in Q3

Financials UK

UK— WPP has boasted of a “marked improvement” in the financial performance of its consumer insight division in the third quarter, with like-for-like revenue down 10% compared to a decline of 13.4% in the second quarter.

Insight revenue for the three months ended 30 September was £529.5m compared to £246.7m a year ago, up 114.6% on a reported basis but this is due to the acquisition of TNS in November last year.

The division also reported a better gross margin performance, down only 7.4% in Q3 compared to -11.1% in the prior quarter. Nine-month revenue was £1.65bn, a like-for-like decline of 10.2%, which is in line with the insight division’s first-half results.

For the group as a whole revenue was down 8.7% on a like-for-like basis to £2bn. CEO Martin Sorrell said: “July, August and September all showed ‘less worse’ revenue growth against April, May and June. Clearly, overall conditions are ‘less worse’, reflecting no Armageddon and the cycling of easier comparatives.”

However, Sorrell said confidence remains “fragile” among consumers and corporations alike. “While the hearts of CEOs and CMOs are stronger and their minds clearer, increased confidence is still not transferring to their cheque-writing hands,” he said.

The group’s headcount continued to decline in the third quarter, ending the period at 101,333 – a decrease of 10% on the figure at the start of the year.


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