WPP lifts profits, sales

WPP has seen its profits and sales increase in its HY results, reaching a net profit before tax of $43.4m, up 3.8 per cent from the previous half-year figure of $41.9m.

Net sales for the period came to $416.3m, up 1.5 per cent from the previous corresponding period (pcp) result of $410m.

EBIT also increased, rising a modest one per cent, reaching $49.6m from $49.1m.

Michael Connaghan, CEO, WPP AUNZ, says, “Out business continues to deliver headline organic growth. We remain focused on strengthening the foundations and fundamentals of our business, investing in our people and culture, delivering more for our clients, and improving returns to shareholders in the long-term.

“Over the last six months, we have made a number of investments to support this including investing in a new Melbourne property campus to house 15 brands and 360 people; investing in state-of-the-art production infrastructure; and, taking a greater ownership in minorities and associated entities that will ensure we work more cohesively across the group.

“On a divisional basis, we experienced varied performances across our key areas of operation. Advertising and media investment management showed good growth in net sales and maintained their operating margin. Digital business again performed strongly and have maintained their earnings momentum. The Public Relations and Public Affairs segment has seen growth across the portfolio, a pleasing turnaround from previous periods. While, the Data Investment Management and Branding and Identity businesses experienced pressure from market softness, particularly retail clients.”

WPP AUNZ are the owners of Active Display Group, and recently removed the CEO of the point-of-sale specialists, with an internal staff memo noting a loss in confidence.

A spokesperson from WPP AUNZ says, “WPP AUNZ can confirm that CEO of Active Display Group, Deane Hubball has left the business. “We can also confirm that a small number of staff have also left the business, however out of respect for those involved we will be making no further comment.

“While a search for a new CEO is underway, executive chairman, David Gittus will step into the role as interim CEO. Gittus was a director and CEO of Active Display Group for over 25 years and has remained closely involved with the business in his role as executive chairman.

“An announcement about a new CEO will be made in due course.”

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