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WPP Aunz Ltd (ASX:WPP) ups debt amid challenging market conditions

Marketing services group WPP Aunz Ltd (ASX: WPP) has reported an increase in sales, NPAT, EPS and dividends, but its debt facilities are also growing steadily.

The $738 million market cap company handed down its half-year results today, announcing the expansion of its debt facilities to $520 million, with forecasts for “low single digit” market growth going forward as “market conditions continue to be challenging for retail and consumer brands”.

Over the last six months, WPP invested in a new Melbourne property campus to house 15 brands and 360 staff while its net sales grew only 1.5% to $416.3 million with NPAT up 6.8% to $31.4 million and costs growing across the board.

WPP operates in the volatile media space, alongside stocks such as the beleaguered Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) which has seen a small share price rally this reporting season and oOh! Media Ltd (ASX: OML) which stormed higher during yesterday’s trade after ACCC advised it would not oppose oOh! purchasing HT&E Ltd’s (ASX: HT1) Adshel business.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended oOh!Media Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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