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WPP Q3 Results: Global revenue drops by 9.8%, India down 16.3%

Total revenue for the first nine months of 2020 to £8.6 billion.

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NEW DELHI: Global advertising conglomerate WPP reported a 9.8 per cent decline in revenue from last year to £2.97 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

The result brought the company's total revenue for the first nine months of 2020 to £8.6 billion, down by 11.5 per cent on the same period in 2019. On a like-for-like basis, Q3 revenue was down 5.5 per cent.

The top five markets for the advertising major also did not fare well in Q3 LFL revenue less pass-through costs: US -5.5 per cent; UK -6.5 per cent; Germany -1.8 per cent; Greater China -16.7 per cent; and India -16.3 per cent.

WPP said in a statement that it showed a resilient performance despite the challenging environment. Its results also stated there was an improvement in the second quarter with strong new business momentum and tight cost control.

The agency bagged business of around $1.6 billion in Q3, taking the year-to-date wins to $5.6 billion. It has strong liquidity and balance sheet, supported by tight working capital management: year-to-date average net debt £2.5 billion, down £2.0 billion year-on-year. The agency is on track to be towards the upper end of £700-800 million cost reduction target.

WPP CEO Mark Read said, “We have maintained our new business momentum as clients seek out our creativity and our skills in media, technology, data and ecommerce. This month, Uber joined a growing list of major assignment wins that includes Alibaba, Dell, HSBC, Intel, Unilever and Whirlpool, and we continue to lead the new business rankings. We have also renewed and expanded our relationship with Walgreens Boots Alliance to encompass its data- and technology-driven marketing strategy.”

“Our people have done a superb job in serving our clients, largely working from home, but the events of 2020 have of course created new pressures for everyone. We have increased our investment in employee support services, with a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing, and this will be an ongoing priority for our leadership,” added Read.

The conglomerate includes several global agencies such as Ogilvy, GroupM, JWT, Essence and others.

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