The WPP business unit that houses brand consulting, health and wellness, and specialist communications reported a 0.6% like-for-like revenue increase in Q3 to $1.49 billion.
Health and wellness was one part of the unit that performed favorably in the quarter, along with direct, digital, and interactive. The brand consulting business “remains challenging, particularly in the United States following some client losses towards the end of 2017,” according to the holding company.
WPP’s overall revenue gain in the quarter was flat, up 0.2% on a like-for-like basis to $4.82 billion. (Like-for-like measures growth at constant currency rates and without taking into account the effect of acquisitions or disposals). Its best-performing business unit in Q3 was public relations and public affairs, reported a 2.6% revenue increase to $382.34 million. The advertising and media investment and management group, by far WPP’s biggest segment, saw revenue drop 0.5% to $2.14 billion.
WPP also adjusted its financial guidance for the rest of 2018 to a “more cautious” outlook. Shares of the holding company were down as much as 23% on Thursday on the change in outlook and the disappointing numbers.
A day earlier, WPP said it is restructuring its health and wellness group, moving three of its health agencies — Sudler & Hennessey, Ogilvy CommonHealth, and ghg — into VMLY&R, Ogilvy, and Wunderman, respectively. The fourth firm in the group, CMI/Compas, will work with the new WPP health practice led by former WPP Health & Wellness CEO Mike Hudnall. Claire Gillis, current CEO of WPP Health & Wellness International, will continue to lead the international health business.
WPP also said it is doing away with the WPP Health & Wellness brand. The reorganization is set for completion by the end of the first half of next year.