Dentsu, the planet's fifth largest agency group (by 2004 billings), reports fiscal Q1 operating profit up 23% year-on-year, fueled by ad revenues boosted by this summer's soccer World Cup.

The Tokyo-headquartered group, Japan's largest agency both by revenues and market share, posted operating profits of ¥11.13 billion ($96.06m; €74.39m; £50.65m) for the quarter ended June 30. This compares with ¥9.04bn in the year-earlier period.

Gains in TV, newspaper and magazine income, plus a strong performance by Dentsu's marketing and promotion units, lifted revenues by 6.4% from last year's ¥455.47bn, to ¥484.8 in the reported quarter.

Net profit figures for the quarter were not stated, due to the non-availability of data from Dentsu's French affiliate, Publicis Groupe.

Nonetheless, the group's latest set of numbers reflect a marked improvement in the Japanese ad industry's long-term frailty. The nation's steady overall economic recovery has fueled rising profits and a concomitant rise in advertising expenditure.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff