Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 17:04 UK

Olympics boost for ad giant WPP

Billboard in Beijing
Spending on advertising related to the Olympics will boost WPP's revenues

Global advertising giant WPP says promotional spending on the Olympic Games and the US presidential election will boost revenues in 2008.

But the firm said the prospects for 2009 were less certain as US and European economies suffer and China's growth begins to slow.

WPP's profit before tax in the six months to June 30 totalled 338.5m, up 15.1% from a year earlier.

Emerging markets such as Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe boosted growth.

Uncertain prospects

"The group's profit performance in the first half of the year was strong...despite the general economic tightening in the United States and Western Europe," the company said.

"The prospects for 2009 remain less certain, particularly if the US and Western European economies continue to be impacted by the financial crisis."

However, it said that 2010 looked more promising, with the World Cup in South Africa, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, mid-term elections in the US, the World Expo in Shanghai and the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

WPP shares closed up more than 3% at 491.50 pence on Friday.

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