WPP results reveal 3.7% like-for-like revenue growth for global PR

Marketing giant WPP's 2010 preliminary results revealed like-for-like revenue growth of 3.7% to £845m for the group's global PR and public affairs businesses.

Like-for-like growth: WPP's Martin Sorrell
Like-for-like growth: WPP's Martin Sorrell

The group’s PR and public affairs businesses provided WPP with 9% of its revenues in 2010. This compares to advertising and media investment management, which provided 39.9% of revenues.

10.9% of the group’s overall profits in 2010 were due to PR and public affairs.

The results also revealed that the group’s public relations and public affairs businesses’ fourth quarter was their strongest, with revenues up 5.6%, compared with 5.1% in the third quarter and 3.2% in the first half.

PR and public affairs operating margins rose by 0.5 margin points to 15.8% in Q4.

WPP said in a statement that good performances were recorded by PR and public affairs agencies Burson-Marsteller Group, Dewey Square, BWR, Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and Public Strategies in the United States and Hering Schuppener in Germany.

WPP’s overall UK business – including advertising and consumer insight - accounted for 12% of the total group’s revenues in 2010, with 5.9% like-for-like growth.

In the fourth quarter, WPP’s overall UK business showed the strongest growth of the year at 9.7%, with good growth reported on the PR side at Finsbury in particular.

Globally, the group reported like-for-like revenue was up 5.3%, while billings were up 12.6% to £42.684 billion in 2010.

Looking to the future, the company stated: ‘2011 like-for-like revenue growth looks as though it should be similar to how 2010 actually turned out, as long as we have our budgets right. The final budget figures indicate continued growth of 5% over last year's actual numbers.

‘Budget optimism in 2009 was replaced by pessimism in 2010. Perhaps the 2011 budgets will finally reflect realism.’

WPP is led by chief executive, Martin Sorrell.

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