Ad giant WPP pulls dividend, buyback and outlook

Canada

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of WPP is seen in this picture from 2018, obtained July 12, 2019. WPP/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – WPP (WPP.L), the world’s biggest advertising company, said it was pulling its dividend and share buyback, and withdrawing its guidance for 2020 after it saw an increasing number of cancelations from clients due to the coronavirus crisis.

The group, which has sold multiple assets as part of a program to simplify the business, said it had cash of 3 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) and total liquidity, including undrawn credit facilities, of 4.8 billion pounds.

It has also launched a review of its costs to protect profitability from a fall in revenue.

“The actions we have taken in the last 18 months to streamline and simplify WPP, together with raising 3.2 billion pounds in asset disposals, have put WPP in a strong financial position,” Chief Executive Mark Read said in a statement on Tuesday.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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