WPP sinks on sustained sales stagnation

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WPP sinks on sustained sales stagnation
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Shares in advertising giant WPP (LON:WPP) have plunged 16.95% to 877p (as of 11:10 BST) as revenues during the third quarter dropped by a further 0.8%. The United Kingdom and western continental Europe saw modest growth but all other regions contracted, most notably North America where revenues for the year to date are down by 5.8%.

Chief executive Mark Read said: “Turning around WPP requires decisive action and radical thinking, and our performance in the third quarter of 2018 reinforces our belief in that approach.

“The slowdown primarily reflects a further weakening of the performance of our businesses in North America and in our creative agencies, issues that we highlighted in our interim results.

“As previously stated, our industry is facing structural change, not structural decline, but in the past we have been too slow to adapt, become too complicated and have under-invested in core parts of our business. There is much to do and we have taken a number of critical actions to address these legacy issues and improve our performance.

“In April, we started immediately to develop the strategy for the new WPP that would simplify our organisation, better position our companies, invest more in creative talent, establish a common data and technology strategy and make it easier for our clients to access the many great strengths that reside within our company. At its heart is a new vision for WPP, supported by a strong culture that binds us together and makes us the most attractive destination for the best talent, allowing us to lead our industry in the future.

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