New-business wins in 1999 push up WPP group profits

Martin Sorrell’s WPP group has seen revenues leap by 10 per cent for the first quarter of the year on the back of pounds 447 million worth of new-business wins.

Martin Sorrell’s WPP group has seen revenues leap by 10 per cent

for the first quarter of the year on the back of pounds 447 million

worth of new-business wins.



But figures published by the group this week reflect tough trading

conditions in Latin America where revenues - along with those of Asia

Pacific, Africa and the Middle East - have dropped by 2 per cent.



The J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather parent company paints a

healthier picture of its fortunes in the UK, where revenues rose almost

12 per cent, continental Europe, which recorded a rise of more than 10

per cent, and North America where a 14 per cent growth is reported.



At the same time, new-business billings were up by pounds 44 million on

the comparable period last year. As a result, the group says it expects

to achieve its aim of raising operating margins from 12.8 per cent to

13.4 per cent.



However, advertising revenues rose by less than than those from other

activities, climbing 5 per cent as opposed to an 18 per cent increase in

revenues from information and consultancy.



Meanwhile, Interpublic, whose empire includes McCann-Erickson, Ammirati

Puris Lintas, the Lowe Group and Western Initiative Media Worldwide, has

reported a dollars 44.8 million growth in first quarter income, an 18.7

per cent increase.



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