The advertising group WPP announced a strong first quarter, one in which it beat rivals Omnicom and Publicis Groupe for the first time since 2006.
WPP reported organic revenue up 6.7 percent year on year to $3.66 billion. "This has been a very strong start, and from a margin and profitability perspective, we are well ahead of budget last year," said WPP’s founder and CEO Martin Sorrell.
The difference between WPP and its rivals, he said, was that WPP has come through stronger in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and "Next Eleven" countries (including Mexico, South Korea, and Egypt, to name a few).
Sorrell forecasted that WPP's business in China would exceed $1 billion in revenue this year, while its revenue from Brazil could reach $650 million, India $450 million, and Russia $200 million. Markets outside North America and Western Europe make up 27.5 percent of WPP's total revenues, he said.
While WPP predicts that global growth will continue in 2012, it warns that “the difficult year may well be 2013 when newly elected or reelected governments have to wrestle with the impact of fiscal and monetary stimuli and the failure to deal quickly enough with fiscal debts.”