WPP Group, London, said revenues rose 13.2% (after adjusting for currency conversions) to $311 million during the first quarter from $283 million a year ago. It said gross profit in the quarter increased 14%. WPP does not disclose profit numbers on a quarter-by-quarter basis. It said public relations revenue was its fastest-growing segment, up 22% in the quarter. Information and consultancy revenue was up 21%; specialist communications rose 19%; and advertising lagged with a 7% revenue increase. Net new billings rose to $644 million in 1998 from $619 million during the first quarter 1997. Last week, Omnicom Group reported first-quarter worldwide revenues were up 24%, and Interpublic Group of Cos. said its worldwide gross income for the period rose 22.8%
Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.