Design boosts WPP profit margin

WPP Group’s annual results for the year ending 31 December 1999, published this week, show a rise in profits of more than 23 per cent for its identity and branding activities, including other below-the-line work.

Design consultancies Enterprise IG and Brouillard receive special mention for their performances over the year, which contributed to increases in global revenue of 19 per cent. Branding, identity, healthcare, direct marketing and sales promotion contributed 25.7 per cent of WPP’s total revenue.

The figures for branding and related work bode well for design’s contribution to WPP activity as a whole. Overall revenues were up 13 per cent (6 per cent below its branding/ healthcare category) and profits were up 19 per cent (4 per cent below).

Advertising and media, the largest single contributor, (46.6 per cent of total revenue) grew by only 5.3 per cent, but made 53.6 per cent profit.

Newly formed digital media parent company accounted for $100m (£62.25m) of pure on-line revenue, and is estimated to account for $500m (£311.25m) when including the off-line branding of dot com companies.

Design Groups in the WPP stable include Enterprise IG, BDG McColl, Addison, The Brand Union, Coley Porter Bell, Oakley Young, Scott Stern Associates, Walker Group and BPRI.

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