WPP (>> WPP PLC), the world's largest advertising group, reported a better-than-expected 3.8 percent jump in first-half net sales and nudged its revenue forecast higher on strong demand across the board for its services.
The group, run by the high-profile businessman Martin Sorrell, said it now expected full-year revenue growth to be "well over" 3 percent, compared with a previous forecast of "over" 3 percent.
WPP also said it would step up its drive to increase sales in its fast growing markets and new media divisions, particularly following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
It said it now hoped to see revenue from those markets making up 40-45 percent over the next four to five years, from a previous target of 35 to 40 percent.
The first-half update follows an impressive performance from French rival Publicis (>> Publicis Groupe) which reported strong underlying sales growth in July.
WPP analysts had expected first-half net sales growth to come in around 3.2 to 3.3 percent but the British firm said investments in technology had helped to enhance net sales growth from advertising and the management of media investment.
It said the second half may be slightly weaker than the first half, due to strong comparatives.
(Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Paul Sandle)