WPP announced strong results for the first quarter of the year, buoyed by its investments in tech, AI, and influencer marketing. The holding company reported revenue was up 11.9%, with like-for-like revenue increasing 4.9%. With pass-through costs, that growth hit 2.9%. Total revenue was 4.9% higher at £3.46 billion on a like-for-like basis.
WPP in Australia has seen better growth in the March quarter than the rest of the advertising group’s business in Asia-Pacific. The world’s biggest global advertising group reported a “positive” start to 2023, posting a 2.9% rise in net sales for the March quarter.
Across Asia-Pacific, organic revenue was down 2.9%. but Australia recorded a posittive 2.5%. WPP’s strongest area was the UK with 7.4% growth. The US was 2.3%
The company is attributing that rise in part to continued spending among clients, in the communications, customer experience, commerce, data and technology sectors.
The focus on AI over the last five years is paying off, with many examples of our work with clients, using the main AI platforms, in-market today. As a result, the company has advised it is on track to hit its revenue targets for 2023 – the effects of foreign exchange notwithstanding.
Despite the positive outlook, WPP did sound notes of warning about the tech sector slowdown. It noted that, in the US, otherwise solid performance in CPG, financial services, telecom, and media were offset by lower technology and retail client spend. As a result, the proportion of its client base of tech companies shrank by 0.6%.
No doubt for the remainder of the year fast-reaction pivots that scale to a new market condition are essential to endure economic uncertainties.