WPP Group, London, said at its annual meeting today that its worldwide revenue for the first five months of 1999 rose almost 11% on a constant currency basis. Revenue growth by region was North America, 14%; U.K., 13%; and continental Europe, 12%. Income fell in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East by 2% due to economic uncertainty in those regions. The combined revenue of the WPP traditional agencies such as J. Walter Thompson Co., Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Conquest and MindShare was up 5% during the period. Revenue growth was much greater in WPP's marketing services operations: up 18% in its research and consultancy companies division, which includes Research International, Millward Brown and Kantar Media Research; public relations agency Hill & Knowlton had 15% higher revenue, while Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide's income was up by more than two-thirds.
Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.