In its 2011 preliminary results, revealed this morning, the world’s largest marketing group recorded a record 2011 pre-tax profits of over £1bn, up over 18% on the previous year.
The results showed that the group headed up by Sir Martin Sorrell had made overall revenues of over £10bn.
The group’s public relations and public affairs businesses had full year growth of 6.2%, with like-for-like revenues up 4.6%. PR and PA operating margins rose by 0.3 margin points to 16.1%.
WPP singled out Ogilvy Public Relations, Cohn & Wolfe and Hering Schuppener in Germany as PR agencies that have done ‘particularly well’. The group also owns RLM Finsbury, Hill + Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.
The group dubbed its 2011 ‘a record year on virtually whatever measure you care to name’.
However, the statement added: ‘The lack of strong, co-ordinated political leadership around the Eurozone crisis triggered uncertainty amongst both consumers and corporates across the globe and this was reflected in a slowdown in economic activity in most geographic regions and functional sectors.’
WPP, which employs 158,000 people in 107 countries, said it expected revenue to increase in 2012, thanks to the London Olympics, football's European Championships and the US presidential election.
WPP added that worldwide GDP growth for the year was expected to be between 2 to 3%.
The group also reported billings of almost £45bn and an operating margin of 14.3%, equal to its pre-Lehman proformance high.