WPP shares climb on strong sales as FTSE treads water

Added 31st October 2016

Shares in FTSE 100 advertising company WPP climbed by over 4% to 1777p on Monday after it revealed strong third quarter sales despite the Brexit vote.

WPP shares climb on strong sales as FTSE treads water

Lifted by the effect a weaker pound had on overseas earnings, revenues were up 23.4% in sterling terms to £3.611bn.

The rise was a far more modest 4.6% in dollar terms however, illustrating how big a factor the post Brexit vote slide in sterling was on its performance. 

WPP sounded a note of caution in its accompanying statements, saying that revenues were softer in the United Kingdom than other regions including North America, and this perhaps reflected ‘the first impact of Brexit uncertainties.’

The FTSE 100 overall was treading water as of late morning, slipping 0.4% to sit at 6963.

Asset managers with large stakes in WPP include Nordea Investment Management, MFS International, T. Rowe Price, Invesco Advisers and Aberdeen Asset Investments.

"WPP is regarded as the bellwether of the advertising industry and as such is widely regarded as a global economic barometer so investors should appreciate that these results beat consensus expectations, with the group citing robust performance in its key markets for the reason why,” noted Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre.

“We currently recommend WPP as a ‘buy’ for medium risk investors with a balanced portfolio but we suggest new investors drip-feed in the current climate,” Spooner added. “The growing importance of emerging markets and digital media to the company looks set to continue, allied to improving dividends, earnings momentum and a steady flow of acquisitions in quality or highly valued brands.”

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Alex Sebastian

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Alex joined Portfolio Adviser in April 2014 and has been a financial journalist since 2008. He has previously held editorial positions at the Financial Times Group and Euromoney Institutional Investor. Alex is NCTJ qualified and has a degree in economics from the University of Sussex.

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