WPP PR sector up 18.7%, totals 10% of '05 revenue

LONDON: WPP's PR business grew 18.7% in 2005, representing 10% of the holding company's overall revenue.

LONDON: WPP's PR business grew 18.7% in 2005, representing 10% of the holding company's overall revenue.

Deals like its March 2005 acquisition of Grey Global Group also helped boost overall growth, but organic growth in the sector also grew 7.5% - the highest among its communications disciplines.

Of WPP's reportable revenue growth of 36% to $46.53 billion, PR and public affairs generated $931.93 million in 2005. CEO Martin Sorrell noted that 15 of the holding company's top 20 clients are in the rapidly growing electrical, financial services, personal care, and drug industries.

"Across the board, we exceeded almost the top end of analyst expectations," said CFO Paul Richardson.

Analysts expected Sorrell to be questioned on scandals involving WPP's Italian operations, but the topic was not raised during the February 24 earnings call.

Marco Benatti, who was fired from his post as country manager, is suing WPP for wrongful dismissal over his ownership of marketing firm Fullsix.

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