Holding company WPP posted encouraging first-quarter numbers, announcing a 3.1% increase in revenue. The news sent shares soaring more than 4%.
The announcement was a positive sign from the world’s largest advertising company that the recovery from the pandemic was underway. In the 4th-quarter of 2020, sales slumped by more than 6%. Analysts had predicted an additional, if less severe, decline this quarter.
“The roll-out of vaccines is improving visibility in many markets, although there is inevitably uncertainty over the pace of recovery.”
The group’s VMLY&R was the best performer and overall, business in China outpaced any other market worldwide.
WPP saw $1.3 billion USD of new business in the first quarter as well, with notable wins of Absolut, Salesforce, and JP Morgan Chase.
“WPP has had a strong start to the year with a return to growth in all business lines and most major markets. Our strengths in ecommerce, digital media and technology, combined with our ongoing investment in creative talent, are resonating with clients as their markets recover and they seek to transform their offer for future growth,” said WPP CEO, Mark Read.
“This week’s launch of our new global data company, Choreograph, adds a further dimension to the WPP proposition as clients look for trusted partners to help them navigate a fast-changing data landscape.
“We have already secured a number of important assignments in 2021, including Absolut (global creative), JP Morgan Chase (global media), Salesforce (technology operations) and Sam’s Club (US creative). We were also delighted to renew our valued partnership with the US Navy,” Read added.
“Last week we made an industry-leading commitment to target net zero carbon emissions across our entire supply chain by 2030, putting our $60 billion of media billings behind this initiative. We will work with our clients, media owners and the industry on this collaborative effort.”
The network’s strong first-quarter mirrors those of the other large holding company’s who also saw signs of recovery.
“The roll-out of vaccines is improving visibility in many markets, although there is inevitably uncertainty over the pace of recovery. We are making good progress on our transformation programme, which will deliver significant efficiencies to reinvest in growth, and are confident of delivering our growth and profitability guidance for 2021,” said Read.
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