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The Associated Press June 29, 2010, 11:53AM ET

WPP says January to May global revenue up 2 pct

Global advertising and marketing giant WPP Plc said Tuesday that worldwide revenue rose by 2 percent from January to May, and growth is expected to continue for the remainder of this year.

Global advertising revenue returned to growth in May for the first time since November 2008.

London-based WPP is the parent company of agencies including Grey, JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, United Network and Y&R.

But while business in the U.S., U.K. and Asia-Pacific strengthened, continental Europe was flat, with Western Europe dragging down results. WPP also cautioned that the European financial crisis and the end of the Bush tax cuts next year could affect business.

"It has been a pretty bumpy ride -- and it is not over yet," Chairman Philip Lader said in a statement.

Geographically, the U.S. saw revenue growth of more than 5 percent from January to May, with the last two months up more than 7 percent.

The U.K. continues to improve, with April and May revenue up more than 4 percent.

In continental Europe, Eastern Europe was up 1 percent in the January-to-May period, with Russia up more than 12 percent and the Czech Republic rising by over 7 percent. Western Europe was tough, with revenue down slightly. Business was toughest in France and the Netherlands, but Germany and Belgium performed better.

The Asia-Pacific region did better, driven by China, India, Singapore and Japan. China's revenue went up more than 7 percent in the five-month period, while India rose by nearly 12 percent.

Shares of WPP fell $1.87, or 3.8 percent, to $47.65 in morning trading.

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