U.S. Markets closed

WPP beats forecasts with 5 percent organic growth

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - WPP, the world's largest advertising company, posted third quarter organic revenue well ahead of expectations, as it stole a march on its two biggest rivals which are locked in the process of merging.

The British firm, run by Martin Sorrell, said like for like growth was up 5 percent in the third quarter, a clear acceleration from the 2.4 percent growth it reported in the first half. It did not change its outlook.

The group said the improved trading was due to an easier comparative last year and improvements in North America, Britain and Latin America.

Analysts had been expecting the group to report organic growth for the three months to the end of September of 3.8 percent. Several had suggested that WPP could do well as its two biggest rivals Omnicom and Publicis are hammering out the details of their merger.