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Weaker pound lifts WPP revenue

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 07 Jun 2017

Weaker pound lifts WPP revenue

(ShareCast News) - Revenue at advertising giant WPP has risen in the first four months of the year, underpinned by a weak pound.
In a statement at its annual general meeting in London, the company said reported revenue in the first four months of the year was up 15.9% to £4.85bn. At constancy currency, however, revenue was up 3.4%, reflecting the ongoing weakness of sterling versus the dollar, the euro and other major currency.

On a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of currency and acquisitions, revenue rose 0.7% from the same period last year. Meanwhile, reported net sales were up 16.7% to £4.17bn, 4% higher at constant currency and 0.7% on a LFL basis, almost the same as first quarter growth of 0.8%.

The pattern of revenue and net sales growth is generally the same as the first quarter of the year, WPP said, with the month of April showing stronger revenue growth, particularly in the UK and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe, with Western Continental Europe weaker and marginally softer net sales growth.

WPP said that on a constant currency basis, revenue, net sales and profits were ahead its revised forecast for the quarter, and also ahead of budget and last year.

Average net debt was £4.65bn compared to £4.24bn in 2016.

"For the remainder of 2017, the focus remains on improving revenue and net sales growth, driven by our leading position in horizontality, faster growing geographic markets and digital, premier parent company creative and effectiveness position, new business and strategically targeted acquisitions.

"At the same time, we will concentrate on meeting our operating margin objectives, by managing absolute levels of costs and increasing our cost flexibility, in order to adapt our cost structure to significant market changes and by ensuring that the benefits of the restructuring investments taken in recent years continue to be realised."

At 1230 BST, the shares were down 2.6% to 1,677p.

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