WPP: suspends share buybacks and dividend payment
(CercleFinance.com) - WPP said that it is taking "prudent actions" to maintain its liquidity position given the current uncertainty, including the suspension of its share buybacks and its dividend payment.
The biggest advertising company in the world said that it has decided to suspend its 950 million pound share buyback program, funded by proceeds from the Kantar transaction, with immediate effect.
Since December 2019, WPP has completed just over one third - or 330 million pounds - of the program.
The group is also suspending its 2019 final dividend of 37.3 pence per share, which was due to be proposed at the AGM in June.
WPP said that it is also implementing cost reduction measures, with the group's executives having committed to taking a 20% cut in their salaries for three months.
In all, cost reduction measures will generate total in-year savings for 2020 of between 700 million dollars and 800 million dollars, it said.
WPP said it has a "strong" balance sheet and "good" liquidity, having recently raised approximately 3.2 billion pounds from disposals.
As at 31 December 2019 the company had free cash of 3 billion pounds.
Its shares were up almost 9% on the London Stock Exchange after these announcements.
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