NEWS26 April 2013

WPP’s European insight divisions under pressure in Q1 2013

Financials UK

UK — Global advertising and research company WPP’s consumer insight divisions in the UK and Europe came under pressure in the first quarter of 2013 according to its trading update.

While the consumer insight division – which accounts for 23.8% of WPP – as a whole grew 2.5% to £588m, with like-for-like revenues up 1% from £569m in 2012 and gross margin up 0.9%, the UK and Western Europe failed to match that growth.

In the update, WPP said: “All regions except the United Kingdom and Western Continental Europe grew in the first quarter, with particular strong growth in the faster growing sub-regions Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East.”

The update added: “Pleasingly, like-for-like revenues in North America showed growth in the quarter, the first time for a considerable period.”

As a group, WPP saw revenue growth of 5.9% to £2.53bn with like-for-like growth at 2.1% for the first quarter with strong growth in UK, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe.

The company said that 2013 would see its prime focus remaining on “growing revenues and gross margin faster than the industry average, driven by our leading position in the new markets, in new media, in consumer insight – including data analytics – and the application of technology, creativity and ‘horizontality’.”

Pictured is WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell.