WPP has brushed aside Brexit fears by having a record year at a time when other agency groups have struggled, with net profit skyrocketing 20.6% to £1.5bn.
Most recently, WPP-owned M/SIX won the £100m Sainsbury’s media account off PHD. While this doesn’t impact the group’s 2016 results, it further underscores the group’s winning strategy.
Not all is rosy in the WPP garden, however, with a slowdown in revenues over the second half in both the UK and US prompting the group to strike a more cautious tone for its 2017.
Commenting on its prospects in its full-year statement WPP observed: “Given continued tepid economic growth and recent weaker comparative net new business trends, the budgets for 2017, on a like-for-like basis, have been set conservatively at around 2% for both revenue and net sales, but with a headline operating margin target improvement on net sales of 0.3 margin points, in constant currency.
“The prospects in the UK are more mixed as the post-Brexit vote scenarios will play out over the next two years and uncertainties about the possible outcomes increase.”
As a result, WPP expects a top line revenue and net sales growth of around 2% “reflecting the impact of a lower net new business record in the latter part of 2016”.