London-based WPP on Friday reported an 18 percent surge in pre-tax profits to $845 million in 2003, on a 5 percent rise in revenue to $7.6 billion. Diluted earnings per share were up 16 percent to about 54 cents. The results, while better than expected, were partially offset by weakness in Europe, particularly in Britain. WPP reported net new billings of more than $4 billion for the year. The holding company also said it is mulling the creation of a third global media network.
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