Six months into 2017, marketing content and communications group WPP AUNZ has delivered a profit of $49.1 million before interest and tax, up 4.1 percent from the previous period.
Driven by "a disciplined approach to cost management, better connectivity and optimisation across the group and working capital improvements", the results were achieved at a margin of 12 percent, up from 11.6 percent in the prior comparable period.
Net profit before tax was $41.9 million, up 19 percent on the prior period, and earnings per share was 3.1 cents, up 12.4 percent on the prior period.
WPP AUNZ's commitment to deliver $15 million of cost synergies per annum over a three-year period is also said to be on track in this process. It says there has been significant progress made to lock in cost savings and that the results show a positive impact from the realisation of cost synergies post the merger.
In line with the company's stated strategy of 'Fewer, Bigger, Better', the first half has seen the consolidation of a number of agencies that were felt to have strong complementary skills and clients. This includes, among others: The White Agency with Grey, and DT with AKQA.
"Our half year results for 30 June 2017 were in line with expectations. Despite a flat media market, our strategy of bringing together the best knowledge, thinking and talent to meet our clients' challenges has served us well," says Micahel Connaghan, chief executive officer of WPP AUNZ.
"In what continues to be an uncertain global environment, we have delivered growth in all our key financial metrics and made significant progress in cost synergies and operational efficiencies that positions us well to capitalise on future opportunities."
Connaghan says that while it remains cautious on the outlook, he adds that WPP AUNZ is "on track to deliver mid-single digit growth in earning per share for the full year 2017."
WPP AUNZ is the largest marketing communications services group in Australia and New Zealand. Companies in New Zealand that are part of the WPP AUNZ network include Assignment Group, Colmar Brunton, Ogilvy & Mather, The Store and Y&R.