WPP profits jump 32%

Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP network saw revenues increase by 6% in the first six months of 2005, with pre-tax profits up a massive 32% year on year to £255m.

The owner of the MindShare and Mediaedge:cia media agencies and a string of creative shops said like-for-like revenues once the addition of the Grey network had been added increased by 22% to £2.47bn.

Across the group new business billings made £1.9bn, as its Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and Middle East regions performed well.

Revenues elsewhere in the group saw a 5.9%, 2.7% and 4% increase in North America, the UK and Continental Europe respectively.

The group said: “Western Europe, although relatively more difficult, has improved and the United Kingdom has stabilised.

“Rates of growth in Europe continue, however, to be two-paced, with Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Benelux and Portugal remaining softer and Central and Eastern Europe, Russian and the CIS countries in particular, more buoyant.”

Elsewhere, WPP said the role of procurement teams in marketing decisions and the concentration of media ownership in some countries would “stimulate consolidation” in the industry, including advertising and marketing services.

“The group is very well positioned to capitalise on these developments and to focus on developing the best talents, the strongest management structures and the most innovative incentive plans in the industry for our people,” the group said in a statement.

By Kevin May

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