WPP’s billings up 5.2 per cent at ?21.4 billion

MUMBAI: WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, has reported a strong first-half financial performance.

WPP declared revenue growth of 8.1 per cent in the first half (organic growth of 6.1 per cent), gaining from a robust advertising environment across the world. North American sales increased 5.4 per cent, and growth in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) improved 15 per cent in the first half.

The company‘s operating margins augmented to 11 per cent from 10.3 per cent in the first half of 2010, with higher profitability in all geographic regions.

Billings were up 5.2 per cent at ?21.4 billion, while reportable

revenue has increased by 6.1 per cent at ?4.7 billion.

The Board of WPP announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2011. "Despite recent uncertainties, these results continue the post-Lehman bounce-back seen in 2010 and the Group has now achieved levels of pro-forma revenues and profitability beyond 2008," said an official statement.

For the remaining 2011, the company states that slowdown in the growth rate in the United States should be compensated geographically by faster growth in the United Kingdom, Western Continental Europe, "from admittedly low levels", and faster escalation in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.

"Functionally, any slowdown in traditional media spending, is similarly forecast to be covered by increasing digital spending and, in our case, by continued growth in media investment management," an official statement stated.

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