WPP dismisses credit crunch fears

WPP, the world’s second-biggest advertising group, is predicting a bumper year for advertising next year despite fears the credit crunch could cut client spending. The Beijing Olympics, the US presidential election and the European football championships will create “a good year for the industry”, it says.

WPP reported third-quarter revenues up 4.9% to just under £1.5bn. Like-for-like revenues were up almost 5%. The strongest growth was in the branding and identity, healthcare, and specialist communications sectors, which saw revenues up more than 16% on the back of growth in direct, internet and interactive work in the US and Europe.

Public relations and public affairs was up almost 11%, while information, insight and consultancy increased almost 5%. Advertising and media investment management was up almost 4%.

The group, run by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), says it continues to benefit from consolidation in the industry and won £703m of net new business billings in the third quarter.

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