WPP AUNZ is tracking to full year forecasts in a 'weak' market

By Chris Pash | 8 November 2019
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WPP AUNZ says its latest revenue numbers show the advertising group on track to meet full year forecasts.

The company says third quarter numbers along with preliminary results for October support guidance given with the half year results released in August.

"That said, we note that the broader media spend market continues to be weak and we remain vigilant," chairman Robert Mactier told a meeting of shareholders today. 

WPP in August reported that the overall Australian and New Zealand markets media spend in 2019 was expected to be flat, with varied performance in individual market segments.

The company forecast earnings per share for the full year to be weaker by 5% to 10% compared to 2018. 

WPP AUNZ posted a $253.55 million loss for the half year to June, following restructuring costs and almost $300 million in impairment charges against intangibles such as brand names and customer relationships.

Excluding significant items, the company had headline profit of $22.6 million, down 15.3%.

Earnings per share came in at a negative 29.8 cents compared to a positive 1.5 cents last year.

Shareholders today voted in favour of the sale of data business Kantar which is expected to bring in $150 million for WPP AUNZ, after transaction costs and restructuring liabilities. 

The financial impact of the sale on WPP AUNZ would be a reduction in net sales of $104 million and a reduction in EBITDA of $19.7 million.

The WPP AUNZ board is looking at the "appropriate amount of sale proceeds" to return to shareholders. 

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