WPP AUNZ reports Q1 profits ahead of takeover scheme vote

WPP AUNZ has released its financial results for first quarter 2021, ahead of its shareholder vote on the WPP plc acquisition on 21 April.

The first quarter results, which are based on unaudited management results, show net sales for the March quarter were $144 million, a 5.2% drop on the previous corresponding period’s $151.9 million, but consistent with expectations.

Despite net sales being below 2020 and the market still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, initiatives and corresponding reduction in the cost base led to improved earnings for the quarter. Headline earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the March quarter was $10.2 million versus a loss of $3.8 million in Q1 2020.


Managing director and CEO, Jens Monsees, said: “The results are a credit to our whole team who have embraced change in our business while also working through a global pandemic. We are pleased to reaffirm our previously announced guidance of headline EBIT of between $85 million and $95 million.”

WPP AUNZ net debt as at 31 March 2021 was $116.2 million, compared to $196.6 million at 31 March 2020 and $17.2 million at 31 December 2020.

Based on the information provided in the release, the board of WPP AUNZ reaffirms its outlook for 2021, which was provided on 17 December 2020, and reaffirmed in the company’s full year 2020 result announcement on 25 February 2021. The outlook is consistent with the outlook provided in the Scheme Booklet released on 17 March 2021.

The full year 2021 outlook is based on the latest re-forecast built up through three months of actual results and nine months of forecasting according to the company’s release.

The Scheme Meeting will be held at The Langham Hotel Sydney, on 21 April 2021 at 10am (Sydney time).

The Independent Board Committee continues to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme.

WPP plc already owns 61.5% of the company, and is set to acquire the remaining shares via the scheme of arrangement. Under the scheme, WPP plc will acquire all of the ordinary shares it does not already own for A$0.70 per share in cash, which gives WPP AUNZ an implied enterprise value of A$717 million.


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