WPP sees 36% profit boost

WPP, the world’s largest advertising company and owner of JWT, Grey and Ogilvy Advertising, has reported a 2.5% increase in first-half revenue as advertisers in the US and UK increased spending.

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell

The agency network, led by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), says reported revenues increased to £4.4bn, boosted by “remarkably strong” growth in the US and second quarter gains in the UK.

The revenue growth helped push the group’s reported profit before tax up 36% to £243.9 million, from £179.3 million a year earlier.

UK revenues “improved substantially” in the first-half, the company says, with like-for-like revenue up almost 7% compared with a 1% deficit in the first quarter.
WPP says in a statement accompanying the results that the improvements reflect “the recovery in the world economy”.

It adds that the second-half of the year should also improve “as the world stabilises and probably avoids a “double-dip” at least” but will be more difficult because of tougher comparatives in the second half of last year.

The group’s optimistic tone follows commitment from major advertisers including Procter & Gamble and Unilever, a WPP client, to increase advertising spend in the second-half of the year.

Agency networks Omnicom and Publicis also recently posted improved results.

WPP says the second quarter saw the first quarterly growth in its “traditional” ad revenues since the third quarter of 2008.

Read Marketing Week’s in-depth feature on the future of the agency model here .

This story first appeared on Pitch, Centaur’s subscription-based online interactive marketplace for agencies and clients to share news, opinion and debate.

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