WPP revenue decline slows

WPP, the marketing services group that owns Ogilvy and JWT, says revenue decline slowed in the third quarter with further improvements expected over the next six months.

The group says like for like revenues, which excludes any impact from the acquisition of Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) last year and currency fluctuations, were down 8.7% in the three months to 30 September, compared with a dip of 10.5% in the second quarter. 

Reported revenues, including income from TNS and accounting for the weakness of sterling, increased by 16.9% to £2.07bn.

Net new business billings totaled £730m in the quarter.

The company, led by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), says it is expecting to see further improvements in the fourth quarter of 2009 and into next year.

It adds there is “little doubt that consumer and corporate confidence has recovered somewhat from the panic levels of the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009”, but warns that consumer confidence remains “fragile”.

It adds that “whilst the hearts of CEOs and CMOs are stronger and their minds clearer, increased confidence is still not transferring to their cheque-writing hands”.

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