WPP, the world’s largest agency conglomerate, reported lower sales for Q1 and said in a statement it has been cutting jobs to safeguard profitability. Revenues declined 6.7% from Q1 2008. “For the remainder of 2009 the short-term focus will continue to be on balancing staff costs and headcount, against the fall in revenues,” the company said. The number of employees were trimmed by 4,300, or 3.7%, in Q1. Over half the people who left did so on a voluntary basis, said WPP.
There will be “a recovery of sorts in early 2010,” and “signs of recovery will come in Asia first,” CEO Martin Sorrell said following a shareholder meeting. “Six months ago everyone expected an Armageddon and people now see some relief that the world didn’t fall apart,” Sorrell said today.
WPP will cut a total of 7,200 jobs this year, the UK Observer newspaper reported 5/3.