WPP reports PR growth at shareholders meeting

DUBLIN: In a trading update given at its annual general meeting in Dublin, WPP reported that worldwide revenue for the first four months of 2011 was up 6.2% over last year.

DUBLIN: In a trading update given at its annual general meeting in Dublin, WPP reported that worldwide revenue for the first four months of 2011 was up 6.2% over last year. This follows revenue that held stable in Q1 of 2010, but subsequent growth in the final three quarters, and into the first quarter of 2011.

Notably, revenues for branding and direct, digital and interactive communications are up 7% over last year, while revenue for PR and public affairs is up 5%. 

WPP expects that revenues for the remainder of 2011 will grow faster than originally expected, with like-for-like revenue growth reaching more than 6% for the year.

The group expects a 1 to 2% increase in worldwide levels of marketing and advertising spending due to the upcoming London 2012 Olympic games, and the UEFA EURO 2012 Football Championships. The statement also mentioned the 2012 U.S. presidential election as another contributor to a likely increase in marketing and advertising spend, with the possibility of campaign-related media spending reaching up to four billion dollars.

At the meeting, the group noted concern about current economic conditions, including “concern about the failure of the United States Administration to address fiscal deficit reduction,” and “the impact of the rise in commodity prices on corporate profitability, particularly amongst package-goods or fast-moving consumer goods companies.” 

Separately, WPP recently expanded its digital capabilities with the 70% acquisition of F.biz, an independent digital agency in São Paulo, Brazil. F.biz, which was formed in 1999, employs 200 people, and works with clients, such as Unilever, Campari, Itaú, Vivo, and NetShoes. The agency's managing partners will remain on board with the acquisition.

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