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WPP Q1 revenue down 3.3% as it implements more cost-cutting measures

Campaign 29 Apr 2020 08:11

WPP's revenue less pass-through costs slid 3.3% in the first quarter of 2020, as the impact of Covid-19 weighed down its March performance.

The holding group generated £2.8bn in revenue from continuing operations in the three months to 31 March, down by 4.9% compared with the same period last year. Revenue less pass-through costs was £2.4bn, marking a 3.3% decrease like for like.

Chief executive Mark Read said the network had a "good start to the year" with growth in January and February outside China, but revenue in March tumbled 7.9% as the virus spread across the world.

Unsurprisingly, WPP experienced the most marked revenue drop in Greater China, where the virus originated, with first-quarter revenue down 21.3%, including a significant 29.9% fall in March. Yet the network noted that its offices in China are back to "around 90% occupancy", while economic activity is recovering. Of the group's other top markets, Germany's like-for-like revenue was down 4.3%, the UK down 4.2% and the US down 1.9%. 

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