WPP continues revenue growth but UK lags behind
LONDON - WPP Group has recorded revenue growth of 17%, and organic revenue growth of 4.5%, for the first five months of 2006, with the UK the only region not to show double-digit growth.
Philip Lader, WPP chairman, provided the trading update at the group's AGM today.
Lader said: "[This year] has seen further continued growth in revenue, profit and margins, following the record performance in 2005."
The group's revenues benefited substantially from the weakness of the pound. At constant currencies, its revenue increase was 13% rather than 17%.
Organic revenue growth was 4.5%, with US organic growth at 4% and Middle East organic growth at 8%.
WPP did not supply organic growth figures for the UK and Western Europe, but said UK revenues were up 6%, Continental Europe up by 11%, and Eastern Europe by 49%. Sorrell claimed that both regions had stabilised but admitted the UK was not growing as fast as other territories.
Lader said: "The UK remains the slowest growing region in the group, as it was in the first quarter."
The highlight in growth figures by group business sector was the branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications division, up more than 20%.
Advertising and media investment management was up more than 11%; information, insight and consultancy was up almost 8% and public relations and public affairs was up more than 8%.
In the first five months of 2006, WPP has made acquisitions or increased equity stakes in advertising and media investment management in the US, the UK, Germany, South Africa, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil; in public relations and public affairs in India, and in direct, internet and interactive in the US market.
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