WPP pre-tax profits soar 12% to £1.5bn

WPP has reported pre-tax profits of £1.45 billion in 2014, up 12.0 per cent year on year.

Sir Martin Sorrell: the chief executive officer of WPP
Sir Martin Sorrell: the chief executive officer of WPP

According to WPP’s preliminary results, the owner of the Ogilvy & Mather and MediaCom networks reported revenue of £11.53 billion, up 4.6 per cent year on year. In constant currency, revenue climbed by 11.3 per cent.

The group’s headline profit before tax was £1.51 billion, up 3.7 per cent or up 11.6 per cent if the effect of fluctuations in currency exchange rates is stripped out. It was the first time WPP’s headline profit before tax surpassed £1.5 billion.

In the UK WPP’s revenue reached £1.64 billion, up 16.0 per cent year on year. Like-for-like sales increased by 12.9 per cent and the UK expanded to 14.2 per cent of the whole group, from 12.8 per cent in 2013.

UK operating profit climbed to £221 million, up 7.8 per cent year on year.

The rate of growth in WPP’s UK businesses was "slightly above" quarter three in the final three months. Like-for-like growth was 11.5 per cent between October and December and 10.2 per cent in the third quarter.

In the results, WPP said its advertising and media investment management and public relations and public affairs businesses performed particularly well in the last three months of 2014 but that its data investment management, branding and identity and healthcare agencies slowed its UK net sales.

WPP’s advertising and media investment management division generated revenue of £5.13 billion in 2014, up 12.1 per cent year on year or 19.8 per cent in constant currency. Like-for-like advertising and media investment management revenues increased by 16.1 per cent.

WPP said it had a "good start" to 2015, with January like-for-like revenue up 6.7 per cent and net sales up 3.9 per cent. 

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