WPP Group posted strong results for 2000, thanks to stronger economic conditions in international markets and growth in interactive and nontraditional media activities. Revenues for the year were up 37% to $4.52 billion and profits rose a record 43% to $554.5 million, adjusted to reflect the acquisition of Young & Rubicam. Net new billings for the year were up 15% to $4.5 billion, from $3.9 billion in 1999, with Young & Rubicam contributing $890 million in net new billings. Interactive and nontraditional media made up 54% of revenue in 2000, including Y&R's results for the full year, or 53% without Y&R. WPP management forecast a revenue increase of only 7% in 2001 over 2000 when preparing budgets for 2001, but the report added that early indicators show 2001 advertising and revenue growth worldwide won't be significantly behind 2000, thanks to stronger economies outside the U.S. and Western Europe, which now account for 18% of WPP's annual revenue.
Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.