WPP, Omnicom Reveal Robust Full-Year Earnings

The 2004 quadrennial lift from the Olympics and U.S. elections helped boost full-year results for the industry’s two largest players.

On Friday, WPP Group said full-year headline pretax profits jumped 15 percent to just over $1 billion, while revenue rose 5 percent to $8.2 billion. Earlier in the week, the London-based holding company’s slightly larger rival, top-ranked Omnicom Group, also reported robust earnings, announcing that net income last year rose 15 percent to $724 million, or $3.88 a diluted share. Revenue rose 13 percent to $9.8 billion. For the quarter, Omnicom posted a 12 percent gain in net income to $236.5 million, or $1.28 a diluted share. Revenue rose 11 percent to $2.8 billion.

While Omnicom boasted strong organic growth, the U.S. company also derived favorable exchange benefits from its European operations. WPP’s better than expected results helped lift British shares Friday. The company also said it expects revenue to grow between 3 and 4 percent this year, slightly higher than market expectations of 2 to 3 percent.