NEWS9 August 2021

WPP grows revenue in first half of year

Covid-19 Financials Media News UK

UK – WPP has reported revenue of £6.1bn in the first six months of 2021, up 9.8% from the first half of 2020.

Mark Read

WPP’s like-for-like revenue increased by 16.1%, while revenue minus pass-through costs was up by 5.0% on a reported basis and 11% like-for-like compared with the first half of 2020.

In April, the group merged the data units of GroupM and Wunderman Thompson to form first-party data consultancy Choreograph. The company has also combined separate operations into a single brand research and analytics platform under BAV.

The company said the market recovery in the first half of the year has been “much faster” than anticipated and that it had experienced like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs across all sectors and in most major markets.

The UK and western continental Europe showed the strongest growth in the first six months of the year, with revenue less pass-through costs up 16.9% and 15.0% respectively on a like-for-like basis, compared with 10.5% in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe, and 7.5% in North America.

Experience, commerce and technology services accounted for a quarter ( 26%) of revenue less pass-through costs in the first six months of the year, WPP said.

WPP invested £92.9m in Kantar in June 2021 to fund its 40% share of the Numerator acquisition. Kantar completed its acquisition of Numerator in July.

Mark Read, chief executive officer, WPP (pictured), said: “I’m delighted with our performance in the first six months of the year, at a time when Covid continues to take a toll on many countries. The like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs growth rate of 19.3% in the second quarter is our highest on record, as clients reinvest in marketing, particularly in digital media, ecommerce and marketing technology. We have returned to 2019 levels in 2021, a year ahead of our plan, with good momentum into 2022.”