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WPP Revenue Flat in First Four Months

June 14 2018

WPP has announced a 3.4% fall in reported revenue to £4.8bn for the first four months of the year, the last period before the departure of founder and former CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. Like-for-like revenue to the end of April crept up by just 1.4%.

Roberto QuartaSorrell stepped down in April amid claims of possible misuse of company assets and 'personal misconduct'. Reports in the Washington Post at the weekend and Financial Times on Monday claimed that Sorrell's departure had been triggered by complaints that he had bullied junior employees and allegations that he paid for a sex worker using company funds. Sorrell, who signed a non-disclosure agreement when he stepped down, has 'strenuously' denied all claims.

Yesterday, nearly a third of WPP's shareholders rejected the group's latest remuneration report, which includes the Board's decision to give Sorrell a long-term share award of up to £20 million over the next five years. Chairman Roberto Quarta (pictured) said that Sorrell's contract required him to be treated as having retired unless a definition of gross misconduct could be satisfied - which it could not, and on which the Board had 'clear legal advice'.

In its AGM trading statement, WPP said constant currency revenue was up 2.7% at $6.6bn. In April, all sectors except data investment management (DIM) grew, with strong performance in the group's media investment management, public relations and public affairs, direct, digital and interactive, health and wellness and specialist communications businesses.

Quarta added: 'For the remainder of 2018, the focus remains on improving revenue less pass-through costs growth and concentrating on meeting our operating margin objective, by managing absolute levels of costs and increasing our cost flexibility, in order to adjust our cost structure to significant market changes'.

Web site: www.wpp.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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