Strong quarter at Omnicom and WPP

Omnicom and WPP have both reported strong third-quarter performances, with each group posting revenues of more than £1 billion.

Omnicom, which is the world's biggest marketing services company, reported revenues of £1.26 billion. WPP, its closest rival, revealed an increase of almost 4 per cent to pounds l.068 billion.

Third-quarter profits at Omnicom, which includes the TBWA, BBDO and DDB networks, saw an increase of 17 per cent to £76.06 million.

WPP pointed to significant growth from its operations in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East as one of the major reasons for its strong performance.

It marks the highest like-for-like quarterly growth recorded by WPP since the first quarter of 2001.

But Sir Martin Sorrell, the WPP chief executive, whose empire embraces J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, MindShare, Grey and Young & Rubicam, warned: "The jury remains out for 2005."

He added: "There are still concerns about the prospects for the US economy after the presidential election, with its fiscal deficit, weak dollar and rising commodity prices, including oil, although the weakness in some of the major markets in Western Europe is ameliorating." The performances in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, all of which saw revenue increases of more than 22 per cent, were well ahead of the UK (more than 12 per cent), Continental Europe (almost 7 per cent) and North America (more than 10 per cent).

WPP is forecasting industry growth rates of between 2 per cent and 3 per cent in 2005, compared with between 3 per cent and 4 per cent this year.