WPP declares interim dividend and beats dire forecasts

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - The world’s biggest advertising company WPP beat dire forecasts for second-quarter underlying net sales, declared an interim dividend and said it was on track for cost saving targets as it sought to weather the COVID pandemic.

The British group also took a 2.7 billion pound ($3.6 billion) impairment charge which it said was due to the reassessment of acquisitions in light of the coronavirus and driven by discount rates.

It reported a 15.1% fall in second-quarter underlying net sales, compared with a consensus of down 20%, which was sparked by clients in Britain and the United States pulling work to save cash. It declared an interim dividend of 10 pence. ($1 = 0.7571 pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Paul Sandle)