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U.S. growth offsets China woes at WPP

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 01:26

Britain's WPP, the world's biggest advertising company, said it expected to hit its full-year net sales and margin targets after seeing a sharp upturn in trading in July. As Hayley Platt reports its CEO Martin Sorrell remains a ''raging bull'' over China.

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He runs the world's biggest advertising agency. And Martin Sorrell says WPP will hit its demanding full year sales target of 3 percent despite a slowdown in China. It'll need to speed up in the second half after a first half rise of 2.3 percent. But July was encouraging at 3.7 percent. Reuters correspondent Kate Holton. SOUNDBITE: Kate Holton, Reuters correspondent, saying (English): "It's quite demanding, they've got high targets and they're going to have to perform well in the second half of the year against what is perhaps likely to be a backdrop of greater economic volatility, so it's not easy." The group handles advertising for Unilever and Ford - among many other big names. And says growth had been good across its regions 'in advertising and media, direct, digital and specialist communications.' The results are on par with two big U.S. rivals Omnicom and IPG and ahead of French group Publicis. And Sorrel says he's an "unabashed bull" on China. IG's Chris Beauchamp. SOUNDBITE: Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG, saying (English): "He's aware of course that companies are still cautious about growth and that they've been talking about cost control rather than looking at margins but I think the overall tone of what he's been saying and what the results say is that the global economy broadly is still on track even with the slowdown in China." Sorrell has been a big fan of emerging markets, investing earlier than others. He's countered slow growth in Europe in places like Brazil, China and Russia. Many will be watching where he goes next.

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U.S. growth offsets China woes at WPP

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 01:26