WPP has hailed its strength in digital, direct marketing and data as the key drivers an increase in revenue from £6.5bn from £5.8bn the previous year, although the weakened pound also helped by giving the firm a favourable currency translation.
Boss Sir Martin Sorrell insists the business is “grinding out” growth following the Brexit vote, although he admitted “it’s early days”.
The UK market is proving a tougher nut to crack, however, with like-for-like revenues up 3.5% in the second quarter to £475m, a slowdown compared with first quarter growth of 4.7%.
WPP said the growth slowdown in the UK, which accounts for almost 14% of its global revenues, was probably due to cautious advertisers holding back spending “reflecting pre-Brexit vote uncertainties”.
The company has made huge strides in what it calls “data investment management”, which includes data analytics and new technology. Just last month it acquired French data marketing group Conexance, said to be the French DunnHumby, while it has also struck alliances with Adobe and IBM.
More than 25% of WPP’s annual income already comes from data and technology.
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