Communications holding group WPP Group said that revenues were up 14.4% for the six months ended June 30, for a total of $6.595 billion. On a constant currency basis, the group grew at over 8%. Profits during the same period increased 18.2%, for a total of $895.8 million, and diluted earnings per share were up 21.1% to 43.6 cents.
The group’s branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications (including direct, internet and interactive) constant currency revenue was up 14.7%. Several companies in specific sectors registered particularly good performances during the first half. In promotion and direct marketing, they were OgilvyAction, OgilvyOne, RMG Connect, Wunderman, 24/7 Real Media and Schematic. In branding and identity, they included Addison, The Brand Union, Lambie-Nairn and VBAT. And in specialist communications, they included The Farm, The Food Group, Headcount, Metro Group and Spafax. Direct and digitally-related activities now account for 25% of the group’s total revenues.
Advertising and media investment management revenue grew by 4.3%. The group’s information, insight and consultancy businesses growth improved in the second quarter, with first half revenues up 7.2%. Public relations and public affairs revenues rose by 9.0%.
In North America, revenue was up 6.5%. In Europe, the United Kingdom was up 4.6% and Continental Europe up 4.8%. Central and Eastern Europe was up over 19%, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East were up over 17%. Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East continue to be the group’s fastest growing regions, with growth accelerating in the second quarter.