WPP direct, digital agencies see 2010 growth

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WPP Group's branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications division reported full-year 2010 like-for-like revenue growth of 4.5%, the holding company said March 4. The unit, which includes direct, digital and interactive marketing agencies, also reported total revenue growth of 7.3% in the year's fourth quarter.

The unit also generated nearly one-quarter (24.9%) of the company's $12.9 billion in overall revenue. WPP cited OgilvyOne, whose 2010 global revenue topped $800 million, VML and Wunderman, whose global revenues eclipsed $900 million, as top performers in the division. WPP also cited http://www.ogilvy.com/About/Network/Neo.aspx, A. Eicoff & Co., The Lacek Group, and Wunderman's KBM Group as strong performers in the direct and digital marketing space.

WPP Group's 2010 like-for-like revenue, which excludes the impact of acquisitions and is on a constant currency basis, increased 5.3% compared with last year. The improvement was driven largely by billings, which increased 12% to $59.1 billion, the company said in an earnings statement. Overall revenue increased 7% compared with 2009 to $13.02 billion.

WPP's operating profit increased 21% to $1.7 billion, compared with 2009. The holding company's advertising and media investment management business generated 39.9% of the company's overall revenue in 2010, an increase of 7% for the division compared with the previous year. The consumer insight division generated 26.2% of overall revenue, an increase of 4.4% compared with 2009. Public relations and public affairs reported 9% of overall revenue, a 4.3% increase compared with 2009.

North American business generated the largest portion, 35% or $4.5 billion, of the company's earnings.

WPP Group employs approximately 46,000 people in approximately 2,400 offices in 107 countries.

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