WPP hunting for acquisitions to bring 'scale'

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 20 October 2020

WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, has emerged from the pandemic looking for acquisitions to add “scale” to its business.

The company surprised the market in August, when announcing first half results, by declaring a dividend, saying the June quarter looked like it was the toughest period of the year “although we remain cautious on the speed of recovery”.

Now Mark Read, the CEO who replaced founder Sir Martin Sorrell in 2018, has rediscovered an appetite for acquisitions.

“We don’t just want to make the business bigger, we want to really focus acquisitions in the areas that can differentiate our offer and provide something distinct,” he told the Financial Times in an interview.

“We don’t want to buy a fourth public relations firm in Uruguay. It is really . . . acquisitions we can make that bring us scale.”

In Australia, WPP AUNZ, hasn't gived profit guidance for the December half of the year.

However, the business is tracking better than expected, with staff returning to full pay, winding back some of the cuts made during the early days of the pandemic in March. 

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