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Stronger European performance gives WPP a growth boost

25 Oct 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
Stronger European performance gives WPP a growth boost

WPP has beat expectations and returned to growth after more than a year.

Issuing its Q3 trading update late on Friday, the world's largest advertising network posted growth of 0.7% with a stronger performance in Europe helping offset weakness in the US, its largest market.

WPP picked up Mondelez and eBay as clients in Q3, while CEO Mark Read said the business was retaining and growing long-standing clients, including the US Marine Corps and Centrica

“WPP’s performance in the third quarter is another important step in the strategy we outlined in December 2018 to return the company to sustainable growth in line with our peers in 2021," Read said.

Like for like net sales for the full year declined by 1.1%, which beat analyst expectations of a 1.4% decline.

However, despite the reversal in fortunes, WPP's financial guidance for 2019 remains unchanged.

On Thursday, WPP shareholders also voted to approve the sale of Kantar, which Read said will further simplify the business and strengthen the balance sheet.

“In the last 12 months, WPP has taken decisive action and made substantial progress on many fronts: we have fewer, stronger agency brands; new leadership in many of our companies; enhanced central teams supporting our companies; and a renewed commitment to creativity, powered by technology," he said.

Analysts had predicted a decline of 0.6% in Q3. Beating expectations, shares leaped almost 6% on Friday.

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01 Jul 2020 

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