UK markets closed

COVID-19 drags WPP net sales down 7.9% in March, braces for bigger impact

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - WPP, the world's biggest advertising company, said net sales fell 3.3% in the first quarter, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic dragging it down by 7.9% in March alone, prompting it to cut more costs.

It said it expected the impact from COVID-19 to increase in the short term, but could not say by how much.

The owner of the Ogilvy, Grey and Hill+Knowlton agencies has already set out steps to cut around 2 billion pounds in 2020 to see it through a downturn in client spending, including pulling the dividend and a share buyback.

It said on Wednesday it could still not predict the scale of the outcome but said it could flex costs against a range of scenarios to manage profit and cash flow. (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)