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WPP Group Revenue Down 3 Percent in 3Q

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NEW YORK -- WPP Group's third-quarter revenue fell nearly 3 percent to about $1.4 billion, compared with the same period last year, according to a statement released by the London-based holding company on Thursday.

For the first nine months of the year, revenue was down 2 percent to $4.5 billion, compared with the first nine months of 2001.

In North America, revenue dropped about 7 percent, to about $629 million, compared with third-quarter 2001. North American revenue was also off 7 percent, to about $2 billion, for the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

Divided by sector, public relations and public affairs had the biggest drop in revenue, down almost 3 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year; and down 8 percent for the first nine months of this year, compared to the first nine months of 2001.

Advertising and media investment management was up about 4 percent during the third quarter, and about 2 percent for the first nine months of the year, compared to the same respective time periods in 2001.

According to the statement, WPP picked up about $1 billion in new business during the third quarter, about a third of the nearly $3 billion it has won during the first three quarters of the year.

The company also reported that the total workforce of the company had been reduced by about 2,350 staffers -- or approximately 4 percent-- this year, in an effort to cut costs.

"Falling share prices in the summer on both sides of the Atlantic and increasing unemployment have had an impact on consumer confidence suggesting a potential 'double-dip' recession," the company said of the drop in revenue.