WPP today announced its interim results for the six months ending June 30, 2011, with PR and public affairs showing 5.8 percent constant currency revenue growth and five percent like-for-like revenue growth. WPP PR firms include Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, and Ogilvy PR.
PR and public affairs accounted for 9.1 percent of the revenue for the total group.
Overall billings were up 5.2 percent to about £21.4 billion (about $35.2 billion, according to today’s exchange rate) with reported revenue up 6.1 percent to £4.7 billion (about $7.7 million).
The U.S. and North America made a strong showing in the first six months, accounting for 35.6 percent of the company’s total revenue. Other geographic regions around the world also showed strong growth with challenges noted in Austria, Germany, Finland, and other parts of Europe. For more detail about the earnings report, click here.
Despite the growth, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell still warned of economic stumbling blocks in 2012.
“Some of the forecasts for 2012 look a bit conservative, but frankly everyone is so frightened at the moment that it’s understandable,” Reuters quotes him. He also said that organic growth may not live up to forecast while operating margins may improve. (Reported operating profit was up 13.7 percent to £517.9 million, or $850.3 million, for the first six months of the year.)
“Whilst the company is preparing for a challenging 2012, events such as the Olympics and the U.S. Presidential elections may provide further opportunities for growth,” Sorrell added.
The Wall Street Journal also reports some optimism in the markets although there are signs that the economy is headed for a bumpy road. Investors are hoping the Fed will step in. Forbes published a story this week with tips for preparing marketing plans for a double-dip recession. You can read that here.