WPP profits up by 37 per cent

WPP has reported a 37 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year, compared with the first half of 2010.

The group, which operates consultancies including Fitch, Landor and The Brand Union, says its reported revenues are up by more than 6 per cent to £4.7 billion compared to last year.

The group says its branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications sector has reported like-for-like revenue growth of 7.3 per cent in the same period. WPP says this sector has shown ‘a strong recovery in reported operating margins across all businesses’.

WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell says the ‘mini-quadrennial’ year of 2010, which featured four-year events such as the football World Cup in South Africa, saw ‘a very significant recovery’.

He says, ‘2011 has, so far, exhibited a similar pattern to 2010, except, as predicted in our budgets and in our reporting to share owners, the the rate of growth in the United States has slowed.

‘However, this has been compensated by good growth, again somewhat surprisingly, in the United Kingdom and some growth, admittedly from very low comparative levels, in Western Continental Europe and by a “last-in, last-out” recessionary recovery in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.’

Sorrell adds, ‘So in summary, so far so good in 2011, with forceasts in reasonable heart, but there are strom clouds and we still have to see how the latest stock-market crisis affects consumer and client thinking and actions.’

Sorrell says the LUV recovery model he predicted last year ‘remains battered but intact’, and that the ‘maxi-quadrennial’ events of 2012 – including the London Olympics and the United States Presidential election – should add to worldwide demand for advertising and marketing services.

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