Investors buy in to WPP in face of rocky results

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Investors buy in to WPP in face of rocky results

Shares in FTSE 100 advertising giant WPP (LON:WPP) have climbed by 6.63% to 665.40p (as of 15:05 BST) despite falling to a  pre-tax loss as revenues sank by 12.3%. Headline pre-tax profits were down by 44.2% due to the decline in revenues as well as operating margins sinking by 370 basis points. Management said that current trading had improved but conditions remained highly unstable.

CEO Mark Read commented: “After two months in which our strategic progress could be measured by growth outside Greater China, the second quarter saw an inevitable downturn, with like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs declining by 15%, albeit better than our expectations. Assuming there is no second wave nor major lockdowns, the second quarter is expected to be the toughest period of the year, although we remain cautious on the speed of recovery.

Our strategic transformation remains on track but as COVID-19 accelerates the change in our sector, we are accelerating our plans. We continue to attract new talent, invest in technology and ecommerce, and train our people in the skills they need for the future, with more than 20,000 receiving accreditations from Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Salesforce this year.

We are working with our clients to help them get back to business, adapt their marketing strategies at speed and reshape their operations for a new world. Brands are seeing increases in online sales of 100% and more, and we are supporting eight of our top ten clients on ecommerce strategies. Our new business record is industry-leading, at $4 billion in the first half, including wins from Intel, HSBC and Unilever, and our pipeline remains strong“.

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