StockMarketWire.com - Advertising giant WPP booked a 44% slide in first-half profit, owing to shrinking margins and a one-off gain in the previous year.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell to £478m, down from £846m on-year.

The bottom line was also dented by a revaluation of financial instruments.

Revenue rose 1.6% to £7.62bn, but was flat on a constant currency basis and down 0.6% on a like-for-like basis.

Headline operating profit fell 6.8% to £730m, as operating margin contracted 0.8 percentage points to 11.9%.

WPP held its interim dividend per share steady at 2.7p.

The company stuck to its full-year guidance of a 1.5%-to-2.0% fall in like-for-like revenue less pass through costs. In the first half, revenue on that measure fell 2.0%.

WPP said it also still expects its headline operating margin to revenue less pass-through costs to fall around 1.0 margin point on a constant currency basis. 'WPP's performance in the second quarter was slightly ahead of our internal expectations but in line with our full-year guidance and three-year strategic targets,' chief executive Mark Read said.

'Clients are responding well to our new offer, as evidenced by recent wins and expanded assignments including from eBay, Instagram and L'Oreal.'

'An encouraging number of our businesses and markets are achieving good growth.'

'That said, we are still in the early stages of our three-year turnaround plan, and we remain focused on returning the company to sustainable growth over that period.'

'Our guidance for the full year is unchanged.' Story provided by StockMarketWire.com