WPP Group 3Q revenue up

LONDON: WPP Group reported October 27 that its fiscal year 2006 third-quarter revenues totaled approximately $2.67 billion, up 4.7%, excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations.

LONDON: WPP Group reported October 27 that its fiscal year 2006 third-quarter revenues totaled approximately $2.67 billion, up 4.7%, excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations.

Including acquisitions and adjusting for currency changes, revenues rose 11% for the quarter.

PR and public affairs work generated revenues of $280.6 million, up 5.7% in like-for-like terms for the quarter compared with the previous year. In an analyst presentation, Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, and Finsbury & Buchanan were singled out as having good results, though Howard Paster, WPP Group's EVP of PR, told PRWeek that all the company's PR firms did well in the quarter.

"If you look at the growth figures for the third quarter and the first nine months of the year, you've got substantial growth across the entire category, and everybody contributed," Paster said.

Despite the reported positive PR figures, WPP's holdings have recently lost some key executives.

Dome H&K CEO Doug Dome, chief talent officer Ellen Shedlarz, and US corporate practice head Judi Mackey have all departed the firm since July. Burson has had two new CEOs in the past two years.

WPP also found two of its consortium arrangements lose clients this year, as Lipitor dumped WPP Health Success for Weber Shandwick, and Hitachi Data Systems dropped a consortium led by Blanc & Otus for H&K.

New WPP investments include a stake in LA-based Internet ad agency SpotRunner and a majority stake in Bangalore, India-based brand identity and design firm Ray & Keshavan Design Associates.

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