WPP released its H1 2021 performance. According to the company statement, the company has returned to 2019 levels ahead of plan, with good momentum into 2022.
WPP reported that underlying revenues increased 19.3% in the second quarter, the fastest rate of growth the company has ever recorded.
The like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs growth rate of 19.3% in the second quarter is their highest on record, as clients reinvest in marketing, particularly in digital media, e-commerce and marketing technology.
H1 reported revenue growth of 9.8 percent, LFL revenue 16.1% (Q2 26.4%). The company reported a strong new business performance of $2.9 billion net new billings in H1. The H1 headline operating margin is 12.1%, up 3.9 pt on the prior year, with strong top-line growth supporting significant reinvestment in incentives. The H1 headline operating margin pre incentives up 7.8 pt to 17.0%. The Net debt on 30 June 2021 stood at £1.5 billion, down £1.2 billion year-on-year reflecting good working capital management.
Commenting on the performance, Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, 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.”
He further continued, “We’ve also made very good strategic progress. Our recognition as the most awarded company at the 2021 Cannes Lions Festival reflects our investment in creative talent and the strength of our creative work over the past two years. Our focus on data, commerce and technology, through strategic acquisitions, organic investments and the launch of Choreograph, has supported a strong new business performance. Key assignment wins include AstraZeneca, Bumble, JP Morgan Chase and Pernod Ricard.”
“In procurement, property and shared services, we are making strong progress as part of our overall transformation programme. We have significantly increased our incentive pools in the first half to reflect the tremendous contribution of our people in these challenging times, and in line with our intention to reinvest in talent announced at our Capital Markets Day in December 2020,” he added.