The group, which owns consultancies including Fitch and The Brand Union, saw pre-tax profits rise from £179.3m to £243.9m in the period and also saw like-for-like revenue grow by 2.5 per cent.
WPP’s branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications arm saw the lowest growth in like-for-like revenue, at 1.8 per cent. Operations in the United Kingdom saw a 2.8 per cent growth, while in Western Europe like-for-like revenue fell by 0.2 per cent.
A WPP statement says, ‘The results reflect the recovery in the world economy, following the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus in response to the sub-prime, insurance monoline, Lehman Brothers and other elements of the crisis.’
The group says chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell’s prediction of an LUV-shaped recession – L-shaped in Western Europe, U-shaped in the United States and V-shaped in the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and ‘Next 11’ countries – would now be LVV-shaped, with the US recovering more strongly than anticipated.
However, the WPP statement adds, ‘While politicians, journalists, economists, analysts and investors argue about double-dips, inflation or deflation, the most likely scenario is a slow growth “slog”, particularly in the mature geographical markets and traditional media markets, perhaps with inflation and higher-interest rates in the long term. In some senses, the recovery will not be over for a long time.’