Ad firm WPP posts 47% fall in pre-tax profits

WPP, world's leading advertising firm, has reported a drop of 47 per cent in pre-tax profits to £179 million for the first half of the year to June, depicting the adverse impact of global economic downturn on the advertisement industry.

WPP, the owner of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide public relations company, witnessed a drop of 8.3 per cent in underlying revenues for the first half of 2009.

Speaking on the topic, WPP said, "The impact of the recession on the group's profitability in the first half was severe."

WPP has slashed its staff by around 6.3 per cent or 5,800 since the end of last year to 105,393.

WPP's top-line revenues stood at £4.29 billion, up 28.4 per cent, while client billings soared to £18.742 billion, up 11.1 per cent.

The firm has also trimmed down is traveling, training and staff expenses under cost cutting measures.

On the other hand, Chime Communications, WPP's rival, has recently posted a rise of 4 per cent in its pre-tax profits to £8.5 million for the first half of 2009.

WPP kept its first-half dividend at 5.19p per share.