Britain’s outdoor ad sector is recovering strongly from the advertising downturn, posting a double-digit percentage jump in revenues in the fourth quarter.

According to forthcoming Nielsen Media Research figures that have fallen into the hands of Media Week, Q4 outdoor revenues surged 15.5% year-on-year. Entertainment and media, the leading sector by outdoor spend, boosted billboard outlay by 16.9%, while there were also big hikes in the finance (+86.6%) and drink (+21.9%) industries.

The fourth-quarter spend surge dragged up full-year totals, giving a 1.9% rise in outdoor revenues to £690 million ($1.1 billion; €1bn) for 2002 as a whole.

“This is a fantastic result,” rejoiced Outdoor Advertising Association ceo Alan James. “The last quarter’s much better than we originally expected, which has pushed the full year figure up as well.”

Looking ahead, he added: “The first quarter of 2003 appears to be going well, but it’s too early to say whether we can expect high growth to be maintained throughout the whole year.”

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff