NEWS24 August 2010

WPP’s insight division posts first-half revenue and profits increase

Financials UK

UK— Half-year revenue within WPP’s consumer insight division rose 2.4% on a like-for-like basis and accounted for more than a quarter of the group’s total revenue for the period, making it the second-best performing business division within the marketing services giant.

The insight division, which houses Kantar, TNS-RI, Lightspeed and Millward Brown, posted revenue of £1.16bn for the six-month period ending 30 June – up 3.4% on a reported basis compared to last year. Constant currency growth was 2.7%.

Headline profit before interest and tax (PBIT) in the division was up 22% from £68.6m to £83.7m while headline PBIT margin rose 8.6% to £7.2m from £6.1m as the group started to realise the benefits of the integration of TNS’s custom research business and Research International, as well as the integration of other TNS and Kantar operations.

Group-wide, WPP saw total revenue rise 3.5% to £4.4bn, up 2.7% in constant currency terms. Headline operating profit jumped 33.1% to £455.3m from £342.2m.

Headline profit before tax rose 41.2% from £252.2m to £455.3m and profit before tax was up 36%.

The firm said: “The return to top-line growth came earlier than others expected in 2010…During the first six months of this year revenues have been running consistently above budget, by about 3%.”