LONDON — WPP's PR and public affairs firms, which include BCW, H+K Strategies, Finsbury and others, have reported a decline of 0.9% on a like-for-like basis (less pass-through costs) in the third quarter of 2019.

This compares with a drop of 1.5% in the first half of 2019 and -2.6% in the second quarter of the year. WPP's PR unit grew 4.5% on a reported basis, less pass-through costs, to £225m. 

"This was driven by an improving trend in the United Kingdom and Western Continental Europe, partly offset by slightly weaker performance in North America and Asia Pacific," said WPP CEO Mark Read in the group's third quarter review. 

Overall, WPP was up 0.5% on a like-for-like basis for the quarter. "Our growth in Q3 is encouraging but we are focused on delivering these longer-term goals and know there will be twists and turns along the way," said Read. "Our guidance for 2019 remains unchanged."