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WPP Group, London, posted first-quarter revenues of $311 million, up 13.2%, after adjusting for currency conversions, from $283 million a year ago. Gross profit in the quarter increased 14% and net new billings rose to $644 million from $619 million during first-quarter 1997. Last month, WPP signed a joint venture agreement with Rouse Co., Columbia, Md., which gives WPP exclusive access to 50 regional malls for research, sampling, advertising and promotion efforts reaching 30% of the U.S. population.
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