WPP reports '96 results

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WPP Group said its profits grew by 35% in 1996 to $246 million on revenues of $2.89 billion, an 8.8% increase. WPP's net debt fell to $236 million in 1996 and the company said it hopes to be free of debt within two years. WPP also increased operating margins to 10.8%, although individual agency margins are much better at 13.4% for Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and 15.2% for J. Walter Thompson Co. For 1997, WPP is forecasting revenue growth of 6%.

Copyright February 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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