WPP Manages Slight Uptick, but Kantar Revenues Drop
Revenue for WPP's Data Investment Management (DIM) division fell 4.9% during the second quarter to £640m - equivalent to a 1.5% drop in constant currency terms. The group as a whole managed its first quarter of like-for-like revenue growth for more than a year.
DIM saw Q2 like-for-like revenue, less pass-through costs, down 1.3% compared with -1.7% in the first quarter. WPP said its Kantar Insights businesses: Kantar Public and Kantar Health remain 'challenged', but both Kantar Media and Kantar Worldpanel were described as 'stronger' compared with the first quarter. Although DIM in North America remained 'difficult', there was improvement in the UK; double digit growth in Latin America; and a rise of just under 3% in Asia Pacific.
Overall for the group, first half reported revenue fell 2.1% to £7.49bn, impacted by currency 'headwinds' of 5.0%: constant currency revenue was up 2.9%. Like-for-like revenue, excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency, had fallen slightly in the first quarter but rose 2.4% in the second - the first positive movement since Q1 2017.
Headline EBITDA fell 6.7% during the period to £948m - down 1.9% on a constant currency basis.
Commenting on the results, newly appointed CEO Mark Read said the group has focused its efforts on providing more integrated solutions to clients, and has also found ways to simplify the organisation, making it easier to manage and for clients to access. 'As Chief Executive, my focus will be on invigorating our company and returning the business to stronger, sustainable growth. Our review of strategy is underway, addressing our structure, our underperforming operations, particularly in the United States, and how we position the company for the future. We will provide an update by the year end', Read added.
Shares fell by as much as 8.6% as WPP's earnings and outlook disappointed investors.
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