Media and advertising giant
Net new billings advanced 7 per cent to £3.2bn last year, as WPP successfully capitalised on continued consolidation within the media industry. Growth was also driven by operations in fast-growing markets such as Asia Pacific, Latin America and central and eastern Europe. In fact, revenues from these regions surged 12.6 per cent to £2.95bn. The UK businesses registered solid growth, too, with sales up 8.8 per cent to £1.18bn.
Divisionally, the core advertising and media investment management business enjoyed a robust performance. Revenues rose 12.2 per cent to £4.2bn and, with margins improving, this drove operating profit up 16 per cent to £668m. The branding, identity and specialist communications unit also recorded impressive 10 per cent revenue growth, and a 25 per cent hike in profits to £360m.
|ORD PRICE:||831p||MARKET VALUE:||£10.5bn|
|TOUCH:||830.5-831p||12-MONTH HIGH:||855p||LOW: 561p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||3%||PE RATIO:||12|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||529p||NET DEBT:||35%|
WPP shares trade on a modest 11 times earnings estimates and are supported by sharply rising dividends. Buy.
Last IC view: Good value, 590p, 24 Aug 2011