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WPP: first-quarter performance better than expected

( - WPP reported a better-than-expected organic sales performance in the first quarter as the material impact of COVID-19 in March was offset by good performance to February.

The British company said on Wednesday that its like-for-like revenue growth less pass-through costs - its main sales measurement - dropped by 3.3% in the first three months of the year, with March down 7.9%.

Net new business performance was "encouraging", the ad giant said, with it winning 1 billion dollars worth of contracts in the first quarter, including the Intel account, Hasbro and Novo Nordisk.

"Growth was ahead of cons and suggests consensus for the second quarter like-for-like growth of -27% is possibly conservative given the business mix", UBS said.

Almost 95% of WPP's 107,000 employees are now working from home.

The WPP stock is currently up over 5% on the London Stock Exchange.

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