WPP first-quarter sales rise 7.6% on emerging markets

Sir Martin says traditional television advertising continues to be strong

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The world's biggest advertising group, WPP, has reported a 7.6% rise in first-quarter sales to £2.4bn.

The company has also become a little more optimistic about the prospects for the year, raising its sales forecast from about 4% to more than 4%.

WPP said that it continued to see strong growth from Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

Like-for-like revenue, which takes out the impact of recently purchased businesses, was up 4%.

In the firm's trading statement, WPP said that western Europe and the UK grew 2.5% in the first quarter on a like-for-like basis.

That compares with growth of 9.5% in the markets of Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East and eastern Europe.

WPP's chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, told the BBC that spending on advertising was healthy in two areas.

"There's twin peaks between the digital economy, the growth of digital communications [like] social networks, search, display, video, mobile and the more traditional forms of television like free to air," he said.

"It's good news for the legacy TV owners, not so good news for newspapers and magazines and to some extent radio, outdoor [advertising] continues to do pretty well. But classic television is still very, very strong."

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