WPP held its annual general meeting today in Dublin, reporting worldwide revenue growth of 6.2 percent for the first four months of the year. U.S. revenue is up almost eight percent for the period, with all other regions, including the U.K., which has had “economic pressures,” also showing growth. Significantly, the BRIC nations showed 17 percent growth during the time period.
PR and public affairs business was up five percent on a constant currency basis. Branding, identity, and specialist business, which includes digital, was up seven percent.
The company has revised its forecast for the year upward to six percent on a like-for-like basis. For 2012, the company sees growth possibilities due to a number of sports events, including the London Olympics and the UEFA EURO 2012 Football Championships, as well as the U.S. presidential election.
However, WPP points out five areas of concern.
The issues they highlight are: economic problems in Western Europe, including Greece and Portugal; the lack of U.S. debt reduction plans; rising commodity prices; ongoing issues stemming from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; and uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.
But, bringing the meeting back to good news, the company pointed out the acquisitions it made during the first few months of 2011, and today also announced that it has taken a 70 percent stake in F.biz, a Brazilian digital agency. The São Paulo based firm was founded in 1999 and has 200 staffers. It’s clients include Unilever and Campari.