WPP Reports 2023 Growth Of 0.9%, With Similar Growth Expected In 2024

WPP reported full-year 2023 net revenue of 11.9 billion GPB -- up 0.5%, with organic revenue growth of 0.9%. 

Organic growth in the fourth quarter was 0.3.  

The firm said it expects full-year organic growth (which excludes M&A and currency impact) in 2024 of between 0 and 1%, with up to 0.40% improvement in operating profit margin. 



Shares were down more than 5% on the news. “While 2023 was more challenging than we expected due to cuts in spending by technology clients, we delivered a resilient performance for the year, stated WPP CEO Mark Read.  

Within the holding company’s Global Integrated Agencies division, GroupM was the growth driver with 4.9% growth for the full year including a 5.7% gain in Q4. Creative agency operations posted a 1.6% decline for the year and a 3.4% decline for Q4.  

North America declined by 2.7% in 2023 revenue -- reflecting lower revenues from technology clients and in the retail sector.

This was partially offset by growth in CPG and telecommunications. Lower revenues from technology clients had impact on creative agencies, while GroupM grew low-single digits in the region. 

The UK was up 5.6% for the year. 

Globally, the firm’s CPG business grew 14.2% in 2023, while the technology and digital services category was down 6.9% and retail was down 11.3%. Telecom, media and entertainment was up 2.9%. 

Net new business billings were estimated at $4.5 billion with new assignments from Adobe, Estée Lauder, Ford, Hyatt, Krispy Kreme, Lenovo, Mondelez, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard, SC Johnson and others.  

In January WPP said it has earmarked 250 million GBP for 2024 for additional investments in data and technology to support the company’s ongoing AI strategy.  

Like the other major holding companies, WPP has already invested hundreds of millions to scale AI throughout its organization. And it's working with all the key industry AI players like Nvidia, OpenAI, Microsoft and others. 

Read today stated, “AI will be fundamental for our business and we are embracing the opportunities that it presents, putting it at the heart of our operations and our work for clients. Our AI-powered platform, WPP Open, is now being used by more than 30,000 people across WPP with growing adoption by our clients.” 

He said the company’s tepid growth and slight margin improvement “was driven by disciplined cost control, while continuing to invest in AI, data and technology.” 

“We are optimistic about the strategic opportunities ahead of us and are confident that we can deliver accelerated and increasingly profitable growth over the medium term.”  

The company said its medium term organic growth target is 3%.  

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