Strong growth in branding and identity, says WPP

WPP, the world’s second largest advertising company, says that branding and identity, along with healthcare and specialist communications, were the fastest growing elements of its communications businesses during the first half of the year.

Reporting interim financial results last week, Sir Martin Sorrell’s company posted an 18.6 per cent rise in revenues for its branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications businesses. This sector accounts for 26.2 per cent of the group’s total revenues.

WPP says particularly strong performances were registered at Addison Corporate Marketing, Enterprise IG, Oakley Young and Warwicks in the branding and identity sector. The company is the owner of the most design and branding groups in the UK.

The market for branding and identity work has ‘started to pick up slightly’, although healthcare, direct, interactive and Internet activities have all remained more resilient to the recent recession, according to WPP.

Overall group revenues rose by 6 per cent to £2bn in real terms and by 13 per cent in constant currencies. Pre-tax profits grew by 15 per cent and 26 per cent on the same basis. The group said that like-for-like revenues, which exclude acquisitions and currency changes, rose by ‘over 2 per cent’.

Geographically, the strongest growth came from the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and Middle East region, which saw constant currency revenues rise by 28.9 per cent year on year for the first six months. North American revenues rose by 11.2 per cent and continental Europe by 8.5 per cent. The UK grew by 12 per cent, but the media market here was described as ‘still difficult’.

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