WPP swings from £2.2bn loss with ‘fastest organic growth for over 20 years’
WPP has swung from the eyewatering £2.2bn loss it swallowed in 2020, pulling in £1.2bn in profit last year.
In what CEO Mark Read has hailed as WPP’s “fastest organic growth for over 20 years”, the technology, media and communications heavyweight has returned more than £1bn to shareholders, it said in its preliminary results today.
The Martin Sorrell founded group, which employs more than 100,000 people, also enjoyed a revenue bump of 6.7 per cent to £12.8bn in 2021.
“It has been an outstanding year for WPP,” Read continued. “As a result, we are two years ahead of our plan, hitting our 2023 revenue target in 2021.”
It follows months of deal making, which has hauled in fresh acquisitions such as Made Thought in December, a branding and design agency, alongside sustained partnerships.
“Our extensive partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, the expansion of our work with Google and the continuation of our longstanding relationship with Unilever demonstrate the value that three of the world’s leading marketing organisations place in WPP,” Read added.
The London-headquartered group had undergone a so-called transformation programme, after its pandemic-induced losses.
The programme is on track, WPP confirmed today, having saved around £245m from across property procurement, improving IT and sharing certain services.
“We have made substantial strategic progress, creating the world’s leading board-level communications firm through the merger of Finsbury Glover Hering and Sard Verbinnen, and acquiring capabilities in AI, commerce and technology services to leverage across all of WPP for future growth,” the boss explained.
“We look forward to 2022 with confidence. We are guiding to strong top-line growth, improving profitability and continued investment in our people and services.”