WPP has reported growth in revenues and profits in the second quarter but saw revenue growth slow in the UK as advertisers held back spending over concerns about the Brexit vote.
WPP has reported headline profits up by 10% to £769m and global revenues of £6.5bn in the first six months.
Net sales grew from 3.2% in the first quarter to 3.4% in the second quarter in the UK. WPP reported net sales up by 3.8% to £5.6bn in the first half as the company was boosted by advertising spend associated with Euro 2016, the Rio Olympics and the looming US presidential election.
EBITDA was up by 13.7%, with constant currency growth up 9.5%, reflecting both strong like-for-like net sales growth and margin improvement, with reported headline operating costs up 10.3%, rising less than revenue and net sales, while PBIT increased by 14.9%, up 10.3% in constant currency with the reported net sales margin, a more accurate competitive comparator, increasing by 0.4 margin points, and by 0.3 margin points on a constant currency basis, in line with the Group’s full year margin target.
Average net debt increased by £612m (18%) to £3.986 billion compared to last year, at 2016 constant rates, continuing to reflect significant net acquisition spend and share repurchases of £831 million in the twelve months to 30 June 2016, more than offsetting the improvements in working capital in the same period.