WPP plans to grow PR and marketing despite profits fall

WPP this week outlined plans to increase PR and marketing services to two thirds of its overall revenue despite revealing disappointing PR figures in its latest set of year-end results.

PR and marketing services already accounts for the majority of the group's revenue base, providing 53 per cent. But the group revealed this week that it hopes to increase the sector's revenue contribution to 67 per cent in the long-term.

The news comes as the group unveils its 2002 results, which reveal an eight per cent decline in PR and public affairs revenues, alongside an overall halving of pre-tax profits to £205m.

WPP's New York-based executive vice-president of PR and public affairs Howard Paster said the 'opportunities for PR are still there'.

While WPP reported an overall 19 per cent drop in pre-tax profits for 2002, rival Omnicom's quarterly figures out this week showed a ten per cent rise in profits for the same period.

Omnicom's non-US operations were not quite as robust, however, with just a three per cent revenue increase to £2.1bn. CEO John Wren said jobs across Europe may have to be shed due to international economic conditions.

Leader, p8.

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