Ad company upbeat on outlook for 2008

LONDON — WPP, the world’s second largest advertising company, has reported a 5.3% annual hike in revenues for the six months to the end of June.

Growth in the U.S. and continental Europe was stronger than in the U.K.

The U.K. recorded 2.3% like-for-like revenue growth in the first half of the year compared with 5.1% in the U.S., 3.1% in mainland Europe, and 10.9% across Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa and Middle East.

China and India saw first-half like-for-like revenues accelerate by 29% and 22% respectively.

In a statement WPP said: “As long as the United States economy holds up, 2008 should be a good year too, buoyed by the build up to Beijing 2008 and heavy United States political spending, in advance of a presidential election, which may see Hillary Clinton nominated and elected.

“2008 should be a bumper year, with the culmination of these two major events and the European Football Championships in Austria and Switzerland”.

WPP’s pre-tax profits were £338 million ($642.2 million) up 6.9% on the same period last year.

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