Updates from WPP, Pearson and Rotork
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We commence with ad giant WPP. In a quarterly trading update WPP reports revenues climbing +6% to £2.53bn with reported revenues in dollars up more than +4% at $3.91bn. Like-for-like revenues climb +2%. First quarter profits and operating margin are described "above budget and well ahead of last year".
Quarter one of 2013 showed a similar pattern to the final quarter of 2012 with strong like-for-like growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East
and Central and Eastern Europe, claims the company.
"Latin America," says WPP, "showed the strongest growth of all of our sub-regions in the first quarter, with constant currency revenues up +14.1% and like-for-like revenues up +12.5%. The Middle East, improved in the first quarter with like-for-like growth over +4%."
Next, publisher and FT owner Pearson. The group anticipates 2013 operating profits and adjusted earnings per share to be in line to 2012, excluding expensing restructuring costs. In the last quarter Penguin sales were upped +3% to £1.2bn.
Pearson's profits though are heavily weighted to the second half. It expects first-half operating profits to be lower this year than in 2012, primarily as a result of the phasing of restructuring charges from its International Education division.
"The Financial Times Group," it says, "is facing weak trading conditions for advertising, with a number of large campaigns focusing on the second quarter this year compared to the first quarter in 2012, but benefiting from resilient demand for our content and services."
Lastly, in an interim flow control operator Rotork reports record order intake in the first quarter of £150m, +14.3% ahead. Revenue growth of +5.0% in the first quarter however has been impacted by the weighting of orders scheduled for delivery in the second quarter.
Expectations for the half year remain unchanged, says the company. The order book now stands at a record £218m, +20% higher than at year end.
"The Indian power market," says the company, "has not returned to pre-2012 levels and Europe remains subdued. However, other markets such as the USA have performed well. Project visibility supports our confidence that activity levels should increase as the year progresses."