Shares in WPP (LON:WPP) rose on Tuesday after the advertising company released an update on operations during the coronavirus outbreak.
In an update that was generally taken well by the market the company highlighted a strong start of to 2020 and their ability to continue operations through remote working.
Shares in WPP were up over 7% on Tuesday morning.
Although the advertising agency said it had experienced cancellations and sales declines in some areas, it had seen growing demand for strategic communications while government and NGO bookings remained robust.
In an effort to conserve cash, WPP adopted measures similar to many companies in ceasing their share buyback programme and have scrapped the 37.3p Q4 2019 dividend.
This is expected to save £1.1 billion in cash. The company also announced cost cutting measures to the tune of £700-800 million.
Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP commented:
“The actions we have taken in the last 18 months to streamline and simplify WPP, together with raising £3.2 billion in asset disposals, have put WPP in a strong financial position. It is clear that the companies in the strongest financial position will be best placed to protect their people, serve their clients and benefit their shareholders during a period of great uncertainty, which is why we are taking the steps we are outlining today.”
“Across WPP we now have close to 95% of our people working effectively and productively away from their offices. I am very proud of the response from our people, who are looking out for each other and going the extra mile for clients while demonstrating the creativity, collaboration and resilience that will be key to the enduring success of WPP. At the same time, we are supporting many governments and international health organisations on communications programmes to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. The important role we are playing in helping our clients navigate a difficult time gives us great confidence in the long-term future of the company.”
WPP are set to release their first quarter trading 29th April 2020.