WPP warns on 2009 revenue after 5.8% drop

WPP, owner of JWT, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Mindshare and MediaCom, says like for like revenues fell almost 6% in the first quarter and that it does not expect to see any recovery until next year.

WPP, owner of JWT, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Mindshare and MediaCom, says like for like revenues fell almost 6% in the first quarter and that it does not expect to see any recovery until next year.

The marketing services group led by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), says revenues excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations fell 5.8% in the three months to March 31 which, the group says, “reflected cuts in client spending” and the global economic and financial crisis.

However, revenues reported on a constant currency basis increased 11.1% while reported revenues increased 35.9% to £2.2bn. The group completed its acquisition of Taylor Nelson Sofres in October.

Revenues in the UK increased 16% to £251.1m, up from £216m a year earlier.  

Looking forward, the group says the first half of the year will continue to be “difficult” with the second half, although still “tough” seeing relative improvement.

“Any recovery, of sorts, will probably come in 2010,” it says.

In March, the group said it expected like for like revenues to drop 2%, however, according to a Reuters report, the group now expects the fall to be steeper.

Shares in the group fell 5.5% this morning (April 28) in the first hour of trading.

WPP’s first quarter trading statement comes a day after the Omnicom, owner of the DDB, TBWA and BBDO networks, reported first quarter revenues fell 14% to $2,746.6m (£1,874m).

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