Despite being relatively bullish about WPP’s results today, the group’s CEO Mark Read has told The Telegraph that he’s sanctioned an application for £600m of potential support under the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
WPP is not alone in this. A number of major retailers, including WPP client Marks & Spencer, and leisure brands such as easyJet, have also applied for the CCFF loan from the Treasury and the Bank of England, designed to help companies to pay wages and suppliers while their cash flow is severely disrupted.
There’s no shame in getting help where you can, and only companies deemed to have been investment grade – at low risk of default – on 1st March can access the facility. Big firms can borrow up to £1bn, and two of the Big Four accountancy firms have also applied to the CCFF, according to the Financial Times.
WPP’s results today showed that the group was having a decent first quarter until Covid-19 struck, winning $1bn of new business. Read said that a fifth of pitches have been cancelled, but commended his staff for “a decade’s worth of innovation in a few short weeks.”