WPP posted better-than-expected trading in Q2 as a simplified technique under boss Mark Read helped the world’s most prominent advertising organization win new work from clients along with eBay, Instagram, and L’Oreal.
The British firm said on Friday its key sales measure – organic growth less pass-by costs – fell 1.4% in the second quarter, an enhancement on down 2.8% in the initial three months and compared with a median estimate of down 3%.
That enabled the owner of companies such as Ogilvy, Grey, and Finsbury to reiterate its full-year vision, a move that was seen by analysts as critical if the shares were to proceed their regular recovery following a tumultuous 2018.
WPP is in the midst of a major overhaul after the loss of critical purchasers led to several profit warnings last year, the same year founder Martin Sorrell quit over a complaint of wrongdoing, which he refused.
Clients had complained that the corporate, built by acquisitions and employing over130,000 individuals in 112 countries, was too heavy, prompting Read to merge certain businesses such as JWT with its digital outfit Wunderman to offer a more joined-up offering.
WPP has further sought to enhance its creative firepower in North America following a weak spell. Read said significant progress was being made in the USA, and while sales have been down 5.3%, that was progress on the 8.5% Q1 fall.
For the first half-year as a whole, group sales have been down 2%, enabling it to reiterate its full-year guidance for a decline of between 1.5% and 2%.
The trading news will give a boost to the corporate and to Read, a former company executive tasked with rebuilding WPP after shares dropped nearly 60% between a peak in March 2017 to March 2019.