WPP Group Numbers Shine

But the stock slides in midday action Friday.
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The world's second-largest ad holding company,

WPP Group

(WPPGY)

, posted a healthy quarterly profit Friday on the back of increased earnings at Grey Global Group, which it acquired last year, and new client wins.

The London-based owner of agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam said that net profit soared 43% during the first half of 2005. Revenue was up 22% to $4.5 billion, while net income was $269 million, or 20 cents a share, compared to $187 million, or 15 cents a share, in the same period year before.

The holding company bought Grey for $1.7 billion last year and now also boasts Procter & Gamble, Volkswagen and Samsung as clients.

WPP, which trades as American depository receipts on the

Nasdaq

, was trading down 60 cents or 1% to $52.43 at midday Friday.