World's biggest advertising group WPP reports record £1.5 billion annual profit

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Martin SorrellREUTERS/Brendan McDermidWPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

WPP, the world's largest advertising agency holding group, reported a record £1.5 billion annual profit in 2014 and has seen a strong start to the start of the current trading year.

For the full year, WPP grew pre-tax profits by 12% to £1.45 billion on reported revenue of £11.53 billion, which was up 4.6% year over year.

The agency group, which owns agencies such as Ogilvy, J. Walter Thompson, and Milward Brown, said 2015 was off to a flying start. Like-for-like revenue in January rose 6.7%, with like-for-lik e net sales up 3.9%, which WPP says was stronger than the final quarter of 2014 and 2014 itself.

WPP says it expects to grow net sales by 3% in 2015 and is looking at a headline operating margin target of 0.3 margin points, excluding the impact of currency.

This story is updating, more to follow.

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