WPP sales growth slows a touch

Thursday, 11 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON (Reuters): Britain’s WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company, posted a slight slowdown in sales growth in the first four months of the year due to weaker trading from some parts of the business in April.

The firm said on Tuesday like-for-like net sales up were up 2.3% in the period.

That compares with first-quarter growth of 2.5%.

“The pattern of net sales growth in 2015 is generally the same as the final quarter of 2014 and first quarter of 2015, with April marginally softer, as parts of the group’s advertising, data investment management and branding and identity businesses were slightly slower,” it said.

As in the first quarter, WPP, which counts the likes of Ford, Unilever and Microsoft among its clients, saw like-for-like revenue growth in all regions and business sectors, except data investment management. Growth was particularly strong in the UK and Asia Pacific.

The trading update coincided with WPP’s annual shareholders meeting, at which it is expected the firm’s boss Martin Sorrell will face a revolt over his pay.

WPP’s boss Sorrell sees off revolt over his 43 m pound pay

LONDON (Reuters): Martin Sorrell, boss of the world’s biggest advertising group WPP, saw off another shareholder revolt over his 43 million pound ($65.7 million) pay package at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Sorrell, who built up WPP from nothing in 1986 into one of Britain’s best known companies with 179,000 employees in 111 countries, has clashed repeatedly with investors over his pay in the past few years. But the number of investors objecting has decreased over time. On Tuesday, 22% of investors at the meeting refused to back his pay deal, down from nearly 60% of shareholders who rejected his pay in 2012 and 30% last year.

Investors have been split on the issue. Some say that while the figure is excessive, they accept that Sorrell has made WPP a global leader.