WPP reports ‘remarkable’ recovery as profits jump

WPP has reported a 28.5 per cent rise in profits before tax in 2010, which it describes as ‘a year of significant recovery’.

The group says profits before tax rose from £663m to £851m in 2010, while billings were up 12.6 per cent to £42.684bn and like-for-like revenue rose by 5.3 per cent.

In 2009, WPP saw its profits before tax fall by 16.1 per cent, in what it described at the time as a ‘brutal’ year.

WPP has singled out ‘relatively strong’ performances from mature markets such as the United States and Germany, along with traditional media such as free-to-air television, as helping to drive the recovery in 2010.

It says constant currency revenues in its branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications sector grew by 5 per cent across 2010 and 7.3 per cent in the final quarter.

The group singled out strong performances from Landor and Fitch’s London offices, as well as from Addison and The Partners in the UK.

WPP says, ‘2011 like-for-like revenue growth looks as though it should be similar to how 2010 actually turned out.’ It suggests growth areas could include China, India, Brazil, Latin America and Africa, as well as Germany, Poland and Russia.

It says, ‘Prospects for 2012 also feel good, particularly as the US presidential election, the London Olympics and the Uefa Football Championships should add 1-2 per cent to global advertising and marketing rates, as usual in a maxi-quadrennial year.

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