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WPP buys two more firms

Strengthens Millward Brown and GroupM with purchase of InsightExpress and Keyade
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Communications group WPP has announced two acquisitions despite a significant sterling-inflicted hit to its financial results for the second quarter of 2014.

The first acquisition saw WPP's market research company Millward Brown acquire InsightExpress, a US-based provider of media analytics and marketing accountability solutions.

InsightExpress will be combined with Millward Brown Digital, the firm's digital unit, which operates out of the US.

Founded in 1999, InsightExpress is based in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. It has 100 staff. Clients include Google, Netflix and Microsoft.

The second acquisition saw another of WPP's companies, the global media investment management firm GroupM, buy France-based digital search marketing agency Keyade.

Established in 2006, Keyade specialises in performance-driven online media purchasing. The agency employs 75 people in Paris and Dubai, and counts La Redoute, Air France and Interflora among its clients.

Keyade's unaudited revenues for the year to 31 March 2014 were €7.0m, with gross assets of approximately €8.6m.

Both investments continue WPP's strategy of strengthening its capabilities in digital media. Digital currently accounts for 35% of the group's total revenue. WPP wants the sector to account for 40 to 45% of its revenue within the next five years.

WPP's interim results for the six months to 26 August 2014 show reported revenues up by just 2.7% to £5.47bn, up 11.3% to $9.14bn and up 6.5% to €6.66bn.

Reported billings slipped 3.0% to £22.06bn, hit by sterling strength, but rose 5.7% in constant currency.

Reported revenue growth of 2.7%, with like-for-like growth of 8.7%, 2.6% growth from acquisitions and -8.6% from currency, reflected the continuing strength of the pound.

Quarter two growth has seen significant improvement over the first quarter of the year, but the group admits to having been 'ravaged' by sterling's strength.

28th August 2014

From: Marketing

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