WPP posted flat revenue in Q2, up 0.1% on a like-for-like basis to nearly $4.9 billion.
For the first six months of 2019, the holding company’s revenue was just under $9.2 billion, down 0.6% on a like-for-like basis. Its profit before tax in the first half was $576.8 million.
For Q2, WPP changed how it reports earnings by division as it restructures its business, creating four groups: global integrated agencies, data investment management, public relations and specialist agencies.
With the WPP Health and Wellness group split among advertising agencies, revenue from healthcare was not broken out. Healthcare clients made up 11% of WPP’s revenue in Q2.
On an analyst call, WPP CFO Paul Richardson said merging healthcare agencies with integrated ad agencies and other recent restructurings made it difficult to report earnings as WPP has in the past.
“What’s really happened this made us change this approach its two things: one, there have been some genuine business combinations of what one would call traditional advertising agencies and traditional digital businesses such as VMLY&R and such as Wunderman Thompson, and we have operationally merge the business, we have co-located the offices,” he said. “So what was becoming clear is if we were to stick with the old sectors there is going to be too much approximation of the performance of one in the other factor.”
By region, North America like-for-like revenue fell 5.3% to $1.6 billion, Western Europe was flat, U.K revenue rose 1.3% and Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe was up 1.2%.
WPP’s healthcare firms include Wunderman Thompson Health, the VMLY&R health practice, Ogilvy Health, CMI/Compas, GCI Health and the WPP Health Practice.