WPP growth continues

WPP has exceeded market and advertising forecasts, and has grown its market share in the first nine months of 2007, according to its third quarterly trading update, reported today.

Looking forward, the company is upbeat about 2008, with the Beijing Olympics, the US presidential election and the European football championships all expected to boost sales.

Like-for-like revenues in the third quarter increased by 4.9 per cent to a total of £1.48bn, despite a strong pound, which it says dented sales.

The advertising and branding giant, which owns design groups such as Landor Associates, Lambie-Nairn, Enterprise IG, Fitch and The Partners, said that its branding and identity, healthcare and communications specialists were the strongest growth drivers, with their revenues up 12.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September, compared with 10.5 per cent in the first six months of this year.

Direct marketing, Internet and interactive streams in the US and UK were also responsible for driving growth, along with public relations and public affairs.

Revenues over the first nine months of 2007 grew by 3 per cent to £4.4bn, according to the update.

Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East continue to be the fastest growing regions, with revenue up more than 12 per cent. The UK also improved, with a small revenue growth from 3.7 per cent in the first half, to 4 per cent in the third quarter.

The company’s strategic focus will remain on fast-growing geographic regions, as well as the digital sector, referring to a ‘good pipeline of additional small-sized acquisitions’ in these areas.

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