WPP Group, London, posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter revenue of $897 million, up 12% from the same period last year. Net new-business billings more than doubled to $1.12 billion during the period. WPP said the group is likely to achieve its aims of a further 0.6% improvement in operating margins from 12.8% in 1998 to 13.4% this year. Revenue increases were highest in the North American market with 14%, followed by the U.K. and continental Europe, with 12%. Revenue in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East grew by 7%. WPP's advertising, research, and media planning and buying rose 5%; public relations and public affairs by 32%; branding and identity, healthcare, and specialist communications rose by almost 23%; and information and consultancy by 9%.
Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.