WPP broadens its horizons to grow

WPP, THE advertising group, is to set up divisions targeting the the financial services, high technology and entertainment sectors in an attempt to boost its long-term growth rate.

"If you look at the five growth industries they are healthcare, hi-tech, retail, financial services and entertainment and media," Martin Sorrell, chief executive, said yesterday. "We are already very strong in healthcare and retail, and we are building specific practices in the other areas."

WPP is planning to create global divisions capable of selling a vast array of media services - including advertising, media planning and public relations - to clients around the world.

Ogilvy & Mather, the WPP advertising subsidiary, masterminded the campaign behind American Express's new blue card.

Meanwhile, its J Walter Thompson unit recently picked up a worldwide account worth $100m (pounds 62m) a year with Merrill Lynch, the US investment bank.

Mr Sorrell said the move would make the most of the synergies between WPP's various businesses, while also offering it some protection from a general economic downturn.

He was speaking as WPP reported a buoyant set of interim results. In the six months to June, revenues increased by 8 per cent to pounds 900m while operating profits jumped 19.5 per cent to pounds 103.7m. On a constant currency basis, the increase would have been 13 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

Mr Sorrell said that, before acquisitions, revenue growth was 8.5 per cent, suggesting that WPP was taking market share from its rivals.

Although the figures were in line with analysts' expectations, WPP shares slipped 4p to 400p on fears that the group would suffer from a general economic slowdown.

However, Mr Sorrell said the company had so far seen little overall impact from the Asian crisis, with growth in China, Japan and India making up for a slowdown elsewhere..

He added that, according to early indications, revenues in July were up 16 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Continental Europe and the UK were the fastest growing regions during the first half, each reporting a 19 per cent rise in revenues.

Investment, page 17

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before