WPP shrugs off competition and raises revenue growth forecast

Oliver Smith
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THE WORLD’S largest advertising group, WPP, reported a 19 per cent rise in pre-tax profits yesterday, on revenues of £5.33bn.

The London-based company made pre-tax profits of £637m in the first half of 2013, up from £570m in 2012.

WPP is soon expected to lose its title as the world’s biggest advertising firm due to an upcoming merger between advertising rivals Omnicom and Publicis.

Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell told City A.M. he remains optimistic for the company’s future post the Publicis Omnicom merger.

“Our strategy is new markets and new media… for us it’s the same strategy but faster. They may have to make some remedies before the acquisitions is complete… we have a considerable window to escalate our strategy before the deal is done.”

The group also upgraded its revenue growth forecast, saying it would be just over three per cent for 2013. It is optimistic about improving prospects in 2014 on the back of events such as the World Cup in Brazil and the Winter Olympics.

Based in Dublin for tax reasons since 2008, WPP moved operations back to London this year after a shareholder vote led by Sorrell, a move he described as “excellent”.