WPP (LON:WPP) published a trading update for the first quarter of the year on Friday, sending shares upwards.

The advertising giant said that revenue totalled £3.588 billion for the period, up 0.9% compared with a year ago, and -0.6% on a constant currency basis.

Meanwhile, like-for-like revenue fell -1.3% compared with the year before.

Net like-for-like in the group’s largest market, North America, fell 8.5% during the period.

WPP attributed this to client losses in the automotive, pharmaceutical and FMCG industries.

In the U.K, like-for-like sales fell 0.9%, whilst in continental Europe they were down 0.3%.

WPP said that performance Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Turkey were ‘up strongly’, however Austria, Italy and Spain proved ‘more challenging’.

Its largest Western European market, Germany, was up slightly during the quarter.

Some of its associated companies include Ogilvy, J. Walter Thompson, IMRB and Cohn & Wolfe.

WPP is considered to be one of the “big five” advertising and public relations firms in the world.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP:

“We continue to make good progress in implementing our three-year strategy to return WPP to sustainable growth.

“As anticipated, our first quarter trading update reflects the impact of certain significant client losses in 2018, in particular in the United States. Although we face a challenging year, especially in the first half, I am encouraged by how well our people, agencies and clients are responding to our new strategic direction. Our expectations for the full year are unchanged.

Mark Read took over from the group’s founder and long-standing boss Martin Sorrell, who left the firm after allegations surfaced of misconduct and misuse of company money.

Shares in WPP are currently +3.71% as of 12:05PM (GMT).


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Nicole covers emerging global economic and political events for The UK Investor Magazine. Her focus is particularly upon company news and political developments in Europe and the US.