Third Quarter 2019 Trading Update

25 Oct 2019

Improved performance in Q3; LFL revenue less pass-through costs +0.5% (+0.7% incl. Kantar1); full-year guidance reiterated


Q3  £ million2 Δ reported Δ constant Δ LFL Δ LFL incl. Kantar
Reported revenue  3,291  5.2%  1.9%  1.9%  1.8% 
Revenue less pass-through costs  2,725  3.7%
0.5%  0.5%  0.7% 
Reported revenue   9,659   2.8%  0.5%   0.0%   0.2% 
Revenue less pass-through costs  7,924  1.1%  -1.2%  -1.5%  -1.1% 
  • Improvement in Q3 in major markets and sectors
  • Global Integrated Agencies back to growth in third quarter
  • Significant improvement in North America and China
  • Net new business of $3.9 billion in first nine months

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:

“WPP’s performance in the third quarter is another important step in the strategy we outlined in December 2018 to return the Company to sustainable growth in line with our peers in 2021. 

“Our growth in Q3 is encouraging but we are focused on delivering these longer-term goals and know there will be twists and turns along the way. Our guidance for 2019 remains unchanged.

“It continues to be a successful year for new business, with major wins in the quarter including Mondelez and eBay, but just as importantly we are growing and retaining longstanding clients, such as the US Marine Corps and Centrica, who value the depth of our understanding and the longevity of the relationship.

“Yesterday, WPP shareholders voted to approve the Kantar transaction, which will further simplify our business and significantly strengthen our balance sheet, while creating a new partnership for Kantar’s future growth and development.

“In the last 12 months, WPP has taken decisive action and made substantial progress on many fronts: we have fewer, stronger agency brands; new leadership in many of our companies; enhanced central teams supporting our companies; and a renewed commitment to creativity, powered by technology. We have cemented our position as the largest partner to the world’s leading technology firms and, most importantly, the work we do continues to be highly valued by our clients as we adapt to their changing needs in a dynamic marketplace.”

Third Quarter Trading Update press release PDF 307KB

  1. As a result of the Board’s decision on 12 July to enter into an agreement to sell 60% of Kantar, Kantar is now categorized as an “asset held for sale” in accordance with IFRS 5: Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations. Accordingly, the Third Quarter Update reports revenue and revenue less pass-through costs, on a geographic and sector basis, excluding Kantar. 2018 comparators have been restated to exclude Kantar. For transparency, we will continue to report results both including and excluding Kantar until FY 2019.
  2. Continuing operations


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