WPP CEO Sees Sales Up to $4 Million in 2014 in Euphoric Myanmar

WPP Plc (WPP) could see as much as $4 million in revenue from Myanmar next year as it opens offices for some of the world’s most prestigious ad agencies there, Chief Executive Officer Martin Sorrell said today.

WPP agencies including Young & Rubicam, TNS and Millward Brown are starting businesses in the country, Sorrell said today in an interview at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Myanmar is like Vietnam in the early 1990s as “people are very euphoric and optimistic,” Sorrell said. Still, with half the population under 30 and most very poor, its growth rate of “6.5 percent has to kick in for a number of years for this to be really meaningful.”

WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, has been expanding in fast-growing markets such as China and Brazil to counter slower growth in Europe and North America. Sorrell said his company, which gets about a third of revenue from high-growth markets, will do “a little bit better” than the 3 percent revenue growth it forecast in April.

“The U.S. feels better, Western Europe maybe, and it’s a little bit better in Spain and certainly in the U.K.,” he said. Asia is stronger than Europe and the U.S., WPP’s largest market, he said. Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Thailand are among the fastest-growing countries, Sorrell said in April.

The London-based company in April said it’s targeting an operating margin improvement of 0.5 points for 2013. The company plans to spend 300 million pounds to 400 million pounds on acquisitions this year, mostly on small and medium-sized companies, according to Sorrell. It struck a partnership today with Twitter Inc. to get data from the microblogging site to build more efficient ad campaigns.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Schweizer in London at kschweizer1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net.

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