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WPP revenues driven by emerging market growth

Worldwide advertising and marketing company WPP (WPP.L) sees growth in emerging markets, but feels the pinch in US trade.

WPP revenues driven by emerging market growth

Shares in global communications company WPP (WPP.L) inched ahead in Friday trade after the firm reported an increase in revenue over the past three months, but cut full-year growth forecasts as widely expected.

WPP revealed 9% growth in third-quarter revenues to £2.5 billion, and shares added 8.5p, or 1.26%, to 685p on the announcement.

However, the company’s forecast of 6% growth for the year has been cut to 5% as like-for-like revenues grew 4.7% in the third quarter, compared with 6.7% in the second quarter.  

WPP said that although the outlook was ‘not dire’, growth expectations for this year had to be cut. The company said: ‘The continuous macroeconomic gloom and despair in the media and elsewhere must have some impact on both corporate and consumer confidence.’

The company’s performance in the UK improved significantly, with revenues up 8.9% in the third quarter compared with growth of 6.6% in the previous three months.  

Strong gains were made in emerging markets. Revenues from Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe gained 12.4%, above second-quarter growth of 11.5%.  

But US sales weren't as strong as in the previous three months.

Tasmin Garrity, analyst at UBS, commented: ‘Third-quarter organic growth was 4.7%, as indicated at the investor day.

'Management has confirmed that they are comfortable with conservative full year growth forecasts which were already below guidance at 5%. WPP is trading in line with and news-flow likely to deteriorate we have a neutral rating.’

The group owns a number of high-profile marketing and public relations companies such as Ogilvy, JWT, Burston-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton.

WPP made a number of acquisitions in the third quarter as the company expanded its business based in developing markets. Ogilvy purchased Promo Digital in Russia and JWT bought A4A, a Chinese digital advertising agency.

The company was originally set up as a Wire and Plastics Products company by Martin Sorrell (pictured), former financial director of Saatchi & Saatchi.  

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