Media super-group WPP continues to hit its financial targets, announcing a 34 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the six months to June 1995.
The group – parent of Sampson Tyrrell, Coley Porter Bell and BDG/McColl, and US design consultancies Anspach Grossman Portugal and SBG Partners – has turned in an interim pre-tax profit of 48.5m against 36.2m for the same period last year.
Operating profits are up by 25 per cent to 61.7m from 50.2m, showing an improved margin of 8.3 per cent from 7.3 per cent and leaving the group on target to achieve the 1 per cent improvement in operating margins per year which it set itself in 1992.
WPP’s specialist communications arm, which includes design, continued to perform well in 1995 against the previous year, contributing 22.9 per cent of the group’s total revenue. Sampson Tyrrell, Anspach Grossman Portugal and SBG Partners have performed “particularly well”, according to the group statement.
At the end of the half year, WPP has worked with over 330 major national or multinational clients in three or more functions such as advertising and design. This reflects the “increasing opportunities for co-ordination between activities both nationally and internationally”, according to the group statement. Sampson Tyrrell is known to be working with US consultancy AGP.
Client developments in the first half of 1995 show the group now serves more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies. The group predicts good prospects for the latter half of 1995 and 1996.
However, the statement warns this “momentum could be disturbed by the impact of the political cycle” as “it is possible that governments seeking re-election will ‘prime the pump’ in an attempt to improve short-term economic conditions”.
WPP Group interim results for the six months to June 1995 (same period last year in brackets)
48.5m (36.2m) pre-tax profit
3.1bn (2.9bn) group turnover
61.7m (50.2m) operating profit
Over 637m net new business billings