New business up at WPP Group

WPP Group more than doubled the value of the new business it achieved in the third quarter of this financial year, compared to the same period in 1998.

New business worth £730m was won during the three-month period, compared to £330m last year. The branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications division of WPP, which includes the group’s expanding stable of design groups, achieved a 23 per cent growth in revenue.

Only the public relations and public affairs division saw higher growth, at 32 per cent. Advertising, media planning, buying and research saw 5 per cent growth. Geographically, the highest revenue growth was in North America, at 14 per cent, followed by the UK and continental Europe at 12 per cent.

The group now intends to continue with its plan of using cashflow to make acquisitions, and to reward shareholders by buying back its own shares.

According to its quarterly trading update, the group also plans to increase profits and margins by “increasing cost flexibility (particularly in the areas of staff and property costs)”.

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