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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 06:45 GMT 07:45 UK
Web helps WPP to 30% profit jump
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell
WPP is led by Sir Martin Sorrell
The world's second-largest advertising company, WPP Group, has reported a 30% rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2006, to 287m ($541m).

WPP, parent of advertising agencies Ogilvy & Mather and JWT, said revenues rose 16% to 2.86bn.

"Two-paced" growth had been seen, the firm said, with more rapid progress in new media such as the internet but slower gains in more traditional media.

Asia and central and eastern Europe were also major growth areas, it said.

But in more mature markets such as the US and western Europe, progress was slower

Olympic prospects

Like-for-like revenues in the period to the end of June were up 5%.

Chief executive Martin Sorrell predicted a strong 2007, with the build up to the Olympics in Beijing and a US presidential campaign likely to boost advertising spending.

WPP has 91,000 staff in more than 2,000 offices in 106 countries.

Its clients include HSBC, Ford, and Virgin Atlantic.

Late last year, WPP dropped its plans to take over UK rival Aegis and it now looks likely to concentrate on making smaller acquisitions.

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