(SHARECAST) – Advertising giant WPP made more than £1bn for the first time ever in 2010, but warned that violence in the Middle East, which accounts for 1.7 percent of revenue, is a concern.
Headline profit before tax increased 27.3 percent to £1.03bn on revenue, up seven percent, or 5.6 percent at constant currency, to £9.33bn, while like-for-like sales grew 5.3 percent. Billings rose one percent to £42.68bn.
Business grew at its fastest rate in 10 years during the fourth quarter. Like-for-like revenue was up 8.5 percent and December registered the first monthly double-digit growth rate since January 2001.
Chiefs predict like-for-like revenue for 2011 will be similar to last year at about five percent, more than the three to four percent predicted by analysts, though the balance of growth is seen shifting from the west to the east to China and India, south to Brazil and Latin America and south-east to Africa.
But unrest and revolution in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya could have implications for other countries such as Jordan or Saudi Arabia. The Middle East is worth £185m of revenue.
A second interim dividend, up 15 percent to 11.82p per share, makes a total for the year of 17.79p, also up 15 percent.
Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and chief executive of WPP, will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Financial Director Summit on 16 June.
To see details of the event click here.
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