Ad group WPP says client wins help trading to improve


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Branding signage is seen for WPP, the world’s biggest advertising and marketing company, at their offices in London

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest advertising company WPP (L:) said client wins from Uber (NYSE:), Alibaba (NYSE:) and HSBC had helped it to report an improvement in third-quarter underlying trading.

The British owner of the Ogilvy, Grey and GroupM agencies said its like-for-like net sales fell by 7.6% in the three months to the end of September, compared with a second-quarter drop of 15.1%.

WPP, which has seen clients slash spending to conserve cash, said it was on track to hit the upper end of a 700-800 million pound cost reduction target, and was on track for analyst expectations.

“Given the tightening of COVID restrictions around the world and uncertainty in the global economic outlook, we remain cautious about the pace of recovery,” Chief Executive Mark Read said.

It said analysts see full-year underlying net sales coming in between -8.5% to -10.7% and headline operating margin of 11.4% to 12.5%.

The group said it had enjoyed a steady improvement in its key territory of North America as clients returned to spending on media ads.

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