GroupM drives WPP revenue growth in Q3

Organic revenue grew by 15.7% in Q3, driven by both of its integrated agencies and specialist offerings.

A slate of big wins and high demand across business segments helped WPP push its recovery even further in Q3.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, organic revenue grew by 15.7% year-over-year, and 6.9% compared to the same quarter in 2019. This was largely driven by recovery in the company’s integrated agency segment, which grew 13.5% year-over-year and 5.9% compared to 2019.

WPP cited strength at GroupM as being a huge factor in the growth, with organic revenue at the group of media agencies growing by 19% year-over-year and 14.6% compared to 2019. WPP also said it has seen ongoing double-digit growth at Hogarth and VMLY&R, as well as an improving two-year trend at Ogilvy, Wunderman Thompson and AKQA.

Among the major wins WPP has gained over the last three months are Mindshare’s global win of the Unilever media account, Mediacom’s global win of the Bayer media business, Ogilvy picking up North American creative duties for TD and Wavemaker winning North American media duties for DeLonghi.

While still its smallest segment in terms of revenue generated, specialist agencies brought in £224 million in Q3, representing 41.5% in organic growth and putting it within spitting distance of the PR segment at £231 million. In particular, WPP is seeing high demand for its consulting offering, as well as for health media specialist agency CMI.

PR still had an impressive quarter, though, with 16% organic revenue growth, driven by demand for specialist PR agencies, as well as ongoing growth at Hill+Knowlton and BCW.

Mark Reed, CEO of WPP, said in a statement that the company is now above 2019 levels in all of its business lines.

“Clients across all sectors and geographies are making significant investments in marketing, particularly in digital media and ecommerce services,” he said. “Our reshaped offer ? which combines creativity with technology and data, through Choreograph, with the largest global media platform in GroupM ? is proving its value for existing and new clients.”

Regionally, WPP’s organic revenue in North America grew by 12.2% year-over-year in Q3.

Like other holding companies, its Q3 results led WPP to increase its guidance for the full year, expecting to have achieved between 11.5% and 12% organic growth by the end of 2021.


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