First Quarter Trading Update

27 Apr 2023

Positive start to the year; reaffirmed guidance for 3-5% LFL growth in 2023 with an operating margin of around 15%

£ million % reported1 % LFL2
First Quarter
Revenue 3,460 11.9 4.9
Revenue less pass-through costs 2,829 9.9 2.9
  • Q1 revenue +11.9%; LFL revenue +4.9%
  • Q1 LFL revenue less pass-through costs +2.9%, demonstrating continued momentum
  • $1.5 billion net new business won, including from Adobe, Ford, Maruti Suzuki, Mondelēz and Swissport
  • WPP topped all three WARC rankings: Creative 100, Effective 100 and Media 100, for 2023
  • Acquisitions of Obviously and Goat to invest in influencer marketing expertise; and 3K Communication, a healthcare PR agency in Germany
  • KKR to take minority investment in FGS Global at a valuation of $1.425 billion
  • 2023 guidance reaffirmed: LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth expected to be 3-5%; with headline operating margin around 15% (excluding the impact of FX)

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:

“We have seen a positive start to the year, in line with expectations, reflecting continued spending by clients in communications, customer experience, commerce, data and technology to support their businesses and brands.

“We are continuing to strengthen the company – winning new clients, hiring new creative leadership, investing in our technology platforms and data, making three acquisitions in the growth areas of healthcare and influencer marketing and bringing in a minority partner to FGS Global. Our focus on AI over the last five years is paying off, with many examples of our work with clients, using the main AI platforms, in-market today.

“We remain on track to deliver our full year guidance, thanks to the competitiveness of our offer and our role as a modern, trusted partner to clients in a world further disrupted by technology.”

WPP 2023 First Quarter Trading Update press release PDF 231.4 KB

  1. Percentage change in reported sterling vs prior year.
  2. Like-for-like. LFL comparisons are calculated as follows: current year, constant currency actual results (which include acquisitions from the relevant date of completion) are compared with prior year, constant currency actual results, adjusted to include the results of acquisitions and disposals for the commensurate period in the prior year. Both periods exclude results from Russia.


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