WPP has released its First Quarter Trading Statement for the three months ended 31 March 2013. Revenues in sterling up almost 6% at £2.532 billion. First quarter profits and operating margin were reported as above budget and well ahead of last year. Average net debt increased by £331m (-12%) to £3.015 billion. Net new business of $1.504 billion was acquired in the first quarter, compared to $1.855 billion in the first wppquarter last year.

Q1 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 and advertising and media investment management and sub-sector direct, digital and interactive,” the group reports.

In terms of revenue growth by country Argentina grew by more than 20% followed by Brazil, South Africa and Thailand, all of whom achieved revenue growth of between 15-20%.

WPP recently acquired Strike Media,  a mobile marketing and technology agency, in South Africa though Ogilvy & Mather.

In South Africa it owns, or has significant stakes in, Acceleration, Added Value, Grey, Ireland/Davenport, JWT, MetropolitanRepublic, Ogilvy & Mather, Y&R, The Jupiter Drawing Room & Partners, The Brand Union, MediaCom and others.

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