WPP’s 2002 Profits Drop 19%

NEW YORK WPP Group plc reported Monday that 2002 profits, before tax, goodwill and impairment, fixed asset gains and investment write-downs and FRS17 interest, slid 19 percent to over $602 million. Revenue in the year dropped almost 3 percent to $5.9 billion.

Despite those results, WPP said it had seen a reduction in the rate of that decline during each quarter of 2002, with the US showing revenue growth of almost 2 percent in the fourth quarter, the first growth in almost two years. However WPP says it expects 2003 “will likely be another difficult year”, noting increased levels of uncertainty caused by the possibility of an Iraqi conflict. The London-based company is pinning its hopes for recovery on 2004, citing factors like the US presidential election, the Athens Olympics and the European Football Championships.