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WPP cheered the City yesterday as its half-year profits surged almost 20 per cent to £429m and the advertising giant promised to keep raising the dividend.

Governments may bail out newspapers, says Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell, head of the advertising giant WPP, said governments may have to step in and support ailing newspapers if losses bring them to the brink of collapse.

Banking on a future overseas?

The pre-Budget report gave little comfort to the City, where business leaders predict Far East tax regimes could prove a temptation. Judi Bevan reports

Sorrell declines to call 'victory' as slump slows

WPP chief executive forecasts a 'LUV'-shaped recovery around the world

Sorrell's view: Investors await Sir Martin's prediction

All eyes will be on what Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP has to say about the world economy when he reports third quarter results this Friday as the advertising giant is such a bellweather of how companies are faring. Analysts reckon that WPP's revenues will be down by 9.4 per cent on the period, albeit slightly better than the second quarter's fall.

Mark Steel: We're all in this together (except when times are good)

The idea of shared responsibility only seems to apply during a recession

Business Diary: Reuters users may feel the heat

City professionals depend on Reuters to provide them with a financial news service, paying top dollar so they don't miss out on breaking market-sensitive stories – and complaining bitterly about any glitches. Still, it would be churlish to have a go at Reuters for problems this week, which it is warning may follow "solar flares".

WPP profits slump 47 per cent in 'surprise' revenue fall

WPP’s profits were hammered in the first half of the year as the recession continued to take its toll on the advertising market, with the group admitting its “surprise” at the extent of the fall in earnings.

Business Diary: 22/08/2009

Buchanan gets a pat on the back from the boss

If you're a small company, what better way to tout for new clients than with testimonials from FTSE 100 bosses? No wonder Buchanan Communications is so keen to quote Sir Martin Sorrell, boss of the media giant WPP, on its website.

Marilyn Stowe: No longer the capital of divorce

Yesterday, I thought about placing a bet on the outcome of the Radmacher v Granatino case. I would have backed the outside chance that the Court of Appeal would uphold the pre-nuptial agreement, even with all the odds stacked against me.

Jeremy Warner: Recession may be over but not the pain

Outlook All of a sudden, the green shoots of economic spring seem all around us. Some of them may even be turning into smallish shrubs, if not quite yet fully grown bushes. According to estimates published last night by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which is second to none in the accuracy of its forecasts for the UK economy, March marked the trough of the recession, with the economy actually growing in April and May.

Ad revenues could fall 8 per cent, says Publicis

Publicis, the group which owns Saatchi & Saatchi, predicted more pain for the beleaguered advertising industry yesterday, saying revenues will fall as much as 8 per cent around the world this year.

Shareholder revolt at WPP's bonus scheme

Nearly a quarter of WPP shareholders failed to back the bonus scheme that could net the advertising giant's chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell $95m (£57m) over the next five years.

Jeremy Warner: Sorrell worries about fiscal threat to upturn

Outlook It's not this year that Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the advertising giant WPP, worries about, or next. Rather it's what comes after when governments around the world are confronted by the brutal reality of what to do about the burgeoning fiscal deficits they are acquiring in trying to manage their way through the recession. Do they don the hair-shirt and attack the deficit in true Thatcherite style, or do they simply ignore it and hope that inflation eventually does the trick for them?

Jeremy Warner: Daily Mail sees signs of stabilisation

Outlook: More than half of Daily Mail's profits now come from business-to-business activities, which for the time being are proving relatively resilient

Claire Beale on Advertising: In the L-shaped gloom, PR and adland must wed

When WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell pronounces on the state of the advertising industry – or, increasingly, industry in general – important people listen. So when he told the world last week that the current recession is going to be L-shaped (that's severe and prolonged) important people agreed. L-shaped it will be, then.

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