Marcoms giant WPP has reported like-for-like falls in revenue for its Data Investment Management (DIM) arm Kantar, of 1.6% in the fourth quarter and 0.9% for the full year. However like-for-like net sales, which WPP has long said are a better indicator, rose 1.5% and 0.9% respectively.
Overall WPP Group revenue rose 17.6% to £14.4 billion (an increase of 12.5% at constant currency rates), while like-for like net sales growth was 3.1%.
DIM was previously known as the Consumer Insight division and includes agencies Kantar TNS, Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed. For 2016, revenue was £2.6 billion, up from £2.4 billion the previous year, while division's net sales rose to £1.9 billion, from £1.7 billion in 2015. Syndicated research saw like-for-like net sales growth of more than 1%, but custom research, which accounts for almost half of DIM net sales, was down a similar amount. Kantar Worldpanel, Kantar Health, Kantar Public, Kantar Retail and IMRB all showed 'strong' like-for-like net sales growth, with Kantar Insights described as having been 'more challenged'.
Overall Group profit before tax climbed 26.7% to £1.9 billion, and Headline EBITDA was £2.4 billion, up 20.8% (or 8.0% in constant currency terms). Like-for-like revenue growth was reported in all regions, led by strong growth in Western Continental Europe and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe, and in all sectors except for DIM.
In a statement, the Board, which is led by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), said it is continuing to look at potential acquisitions, with a focus on faster growing geographic markets and sectors, and new media and data investment management, including the application of technology and big data. 'The results we report today are the outcome of tens of thousands of different client projects undertaken by tens of thousands of talented individuals working for a great diversity of companies within WPP. We thank them all for another record-breaking year', the Board added.
Web site: www.wpp.com .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.