WPP lifts 2011 growth forecasts

WPP Group companies are eyeing higher growth next year, the advertising conglomerate's chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, signalled yesterday.

Sir Martin said forecasts were running higher than the 3 to 4 per cent range indicated before. "It is stronger than that. It is coming through stronger," he explained in response to a question at a media summit.

Turning to current events, he said the world's largest advertising group by revenue, which has 2,400 offices in 107 countries and includes such agencies as Ogilvy & Mather and Hill & Knowlton, was not affected by sovereign debt problems Europe. "It's too early to predict," he said. "We're seeing pretty good strength across the board."

He added that it was "highly likely" that WPP would notch up dividend growth of 15 per cent in the second half of this year.