Billings Up 12.6 Percent at WPP

WPP has released its 2010 preliminary results, reporting that billings increased 12.6 percent to $65.961 billion. Based on constant currency, revenue was up 5.6 percent, reflecting the weakness of the pound versus many other currencies. But reportable revenue was up 7.4 percent to £9.331 billion, or $15.158 billion, based on today’s exchange rates.

PR and public affairs was nine percent of revenue as a total percentage of the group, up 4.3 percent from 2009. Branding and identity and healthcare and specialist communications were 24.9 percent of revenue as a total percentage of the group, up five percent from the prior year. Hill & Knowlton, Cohn & Wolfe, Ogilvy PR, and Burson-Marsteller are among WPP’s firms.

Growth in the PR and public affairs areas was 5.6 percent for the fourth quarter. Burson-Marsteller Group, Dewey Square, BWR, Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, and Public Strategies were highlighted for good performance. Branding and identity and the healthcare and specialist comms groups grew 7.3 percent in Q4; branding and identity was up nearly 11 percent for the quarter. Global direct, interactive, and digital business were particularly strong with The Brand Union and OgilvyOne also highlighted.

The announcement says, “2010 was a year of significant recovery as clients re-focused on top-line sales growth and expansion, particularly in faster-growth geographic markets, as well as continued cost containment in the slower-growth markets of the United States and Western Europe.”

North American revenue as a percentage of the total group was 35.1 percent, up 7.7 percent. Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe came together for 27 percent, Western Europe was 25.9 percent, and the U.K. was 12 percent.