India is the last BRIC standing: WPP CEO

Reuters with CNBC.com
India may be the last BRIC standing: WPP CEO

India is proving to be a shining gem amid a slowdown in emerging markets, the chief executive of advertising giant WPP told CNBC on Monday.

Britain's WPP reiterated its full-year net sales target on Monday after posting an acceleration in third-quarter trading due to easier comparatives and solid demand in Europe and the United States. Third-quarter like-for-like net sales growth hit 3.3 percent, compared with 2.3 percent in the first half.

"[The numbers] look OK in a world environment that's slowing," WPP CEO Martin Sorrell told CNBC.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP.
Melody Hahm | CNBC

Emerging markets are still proving to be the drag on WPP results. Revenue from the Brazilian business is down 1.5 percent year-to-date at $400 million, while its Russian unit is down 6.5 percent for the year at $100 million. China meanwhile is only clocking a 1.2 percent rise year-to-date, which is far below the 7.9 percent revenue jump seen in the full year of 2014.

Still, that hasn't dampened the chief executive's enthusiasm around developing economies.

"I remain an unabashed bull on China, as I do for the other BRIC markets," Sorrell said. BRIC is a term coined to refer to the once-rising national powerhouses of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

"(But) of the four BRIC countries, the last man standing...is India," Sorrell added, where revenue is already up 17.1 percent year-to-date to $400 million, compared to revenue growth of 25.4 percent over the whole of 2014.

"India is very strong, up double digits. China is more muted, Brazil is tough and of course Russia is suffering from the sanctions," Sorrell said.

WPP noted that it would be characteristically cautious about the fourth quarter but reiterated its full-year target of over 3 percent net sales growth.

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