NEWS9 August 2019

WPP shows improved Q2 trading

Financials News UK

UK – Marketing communications giant WPP reported a 1.6% increase in revenue in better than expected interim results.


With its simplified strategy, client wins and funds from disposals including Kantar, WPP said its key sales measure, revenue less pass-through costs fell 1.4% in Q2, which is an improvement on Q1’s -2.8%.

Of its 60% sales of Kantar to Bain Capital, it said about $1.9bn would be used for de-leveraging with about $1.2bn returned to shareholders. The company has made 44 disposals over the past 15 months as it simplifies its structure and repositions into a creative transformation company.

WPP said its ongoing programme of investment in new leadership and creativity would focus on the US.

Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP, said: “WPP’s performance in the second quarter was slightly ahead of our internal expectations but in line with our full-year guidance and three-year strategic targets. Clients are responding well to our new offer, as evidenced by recent wins and expanded assignments. That said, we are still in the early stages of our three-year turnaround plan, and we remain focused on returning the company to sustainable growth over that period. Our guidance for the full year is unchanged.

“When the Kantar transaction completes, our disposal programme will have generated proceeds of c.£3.6bn, allowing us to return significant amounts to shareholders and reduce our leverage to the low end of the target range.”