NEWS9 March 2015

WPP reports record annual profits

Financials News UK

UK — Advertising giant WPP has reported a 12% rise in 2014 pre-tax profits to £1.45 billion and revenues up 4.6% to £11.53bn.

Res_4013004_Martin Sorrell 2

Despite what WPP referred to as strong “currency headwinds” this was a record performance for the business.

The company also pointed to net new business of £5.83bn in the year with the Group first in new business league tables for the third year in a row. It said it had a good start to 2015 with January like-for-like revenue up 6.7% and net sales up 3.9%.

It achieved like-for-like revenue growth in all regions, led by strong growth in North America, the UK and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe. WPP cited particularly strong growth in advertising and media investment management, branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications including direct, digital and interactive.

WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured) said to the BBC: “We are seeing a little bit of an improvement [in the euro-zone] we saw a stronger Q4 and as we go into the first few months of this year January was stronger for the euro-zone as well. So there are grounds for a little bit more optimism.”

WPP’s strategy remains to focus on new markets, new media, data investment management and horizontally; it completed 65 transactions in the year; 36 acquisitions and investments were in new markets, 53 in quantitative and digital and one in healthcare in the US. Of these, 25 were in both new markets and quantitative and digital.