WPP has reported a 4.5% decline (1.8% in constant currency terms) in revenue for its Kantar data investment management (DIM) division, for the year 2018. Reported revenue was down from £2.7bn in 2017 to £2.56bn in 2018.
The DIM division includes agencies Kantar TNS, Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed. In a statement, WPP said its research brands Kantar Worldpanel and Kantar Media had shown strong like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs growth, with Kantar Insights, Kantar Health, Kantar Public and Lightspeed described as 'less robust'. In the UK, the DIM division was described as 'improving', while business was 'slower' in North America.
Overall for the WPP Group, reported revenue fell 1.3% to £15.6bn, while client losses pushed net revenue down 2.6% to £12.8bn (or 0.4% minus pass-through costs). Reported profit before tax dropped 30.6% to £1.5bn from £2.1bn, as a result of £302m spent on company restructuring and 'transformation', as well as £184m in goodwill impairment charges; while Headline EBITDA fell 8.8% to £2.3bn.
Commenting on the firm's results and three-year turnaround plan, CEO Mark Read (pictured) said: 'Since September, we have made good progress in implementing the new strategy for WPP. We have set out our vision and begun the process of seeking a financial and strategic partner for Kantar. Through 36 disposals since April 2018, we have strengthened our balance sheet and streamlined our business, raising £849m of cash proceeds in 2018'.
'As we have said previously, 2019 will be challenging - particularly in the first half - due to headwinds from client losses in 2018. However, we start the year with fewer clients under review than we did in 2018, and investments in creativity and technology will further improve the competitiveness of our offer'.
Web site: www.wpp.com .
All articles 2006-18 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.