WPP: Chinese revenues will overtake UK

Steve Dinneen
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WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, sees China overtaking the UK as its second biggest market in two to four years.

Chief executive Martin Sorrell has embarked on a blistering acquisition drive in emerging markets, with a string of investments in China.

His firm’s revenue in the booming market is about $1.1bn (£680m), making it WPP’s fourth largest market by revenue.

Sorrell now expects China to overtake Germany, which is third with $1.3bn in revenue, during 2012, followed by the UK, which has revenues of $2bn. The US remains its biggest market with revenues of $5bn.

WPP last week cut its 2011 outlook after slowing growth in the US and the affects of the Eurozone debt crisis.

It said preliminary forecasts for the full-year indicated like-for-like revenue growth of five per cent, compared with a previous forecast of 5.9 per cent.

It saw its third quarter revenues rise five per cent on a like-for-like basis. The UK showed significant growth in the third quarter, with constant currency revenues up 8.9 per cent compared with 6.6 per cent in the second quarter and 7.7 per cent in the first.

WPP had already reduced its forecast in August, saying that its 2011 organic revenue growth may drift down slightly from its previously upgraded forecast.