Mar.01 - WPP, the world's largest ad group, posted a better-than-expected 19 percent rise in 2011 profit, and reaffirmed its targets for 2012, when it will benefit from the Olympics, European Soccer Championships and the U.S. presidential election. Ciara Sutton reports.
It's a year of major global events. And advertising giant WPP is hoping they will bring a wave of success. The world's largest advertising company is aiming to reap the benefits of the Olympics, the European Football Championships, and the U.S. elections. The group posted record results for 2011 of over 1.2 billion pounds in pretax profit. And it says events such as the European Football Championships help reaffirm its targets for 2012. Martin Sorrell is WPP CEO. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WPP CEO, MARTIN SORRELL, SAYING: "The are very credible and creditable results in a particularly difficult environment, particularly in the second half of 2011. We're very pleased with the prospects for 2012 and the impact those events will have. It will underpin growth by about 1 percent" But despite the good forecasts, the company predicts smaller revenues for 2012, targeting organic revenue growth of 4 percent. It says uncertainty in the euro zone and unrest in the Middle East continue to be a concern. The company's goal now is to focus on growth in emerging economies. Ciara Sutton, Reuters