Annual Report 2022

Photograph of Mark Read

Our agencies were responsible for some of the most innovative and impactful work of 2022

Mark Read CBE

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive’s Statement PDF 136 KB

Business highlights

WPP is the creative transformation company. Our purpose is to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities, and we made strong progress towards our goals in 2022.


Investing in our people's future


People employed in over 100 countries across the globe
(2021: 109,000)


Women in executive leadership roles1 (2021: 39%)


Technology accreditations and certifications awarded to our people
(2021: 30,000+)

  1. Executive leadership roles are defined by WPP as the agency board and executive leadership population as reported through WPP’s financial reporting system


Including our industry-leading commitment to reduce carbon emissions from our own operations to net zero by 2025, and across our supply chain by 2030

0.22 tCO2e

Carbon emissions per person2 from direct operations (Scope 1 and 2)
(2021: 0.32 tCO2e)


Electricity purchased from renewable sources
(2021: 74%)


CDP scorecard, ranking WPP highly on climate change
(2021: A-)

2 Full-time equivalent (FTE) employee


Delivering transformational results for our clients


of the Fortune Global 500 are WPP clients, reflecting demand for our services among the world's leading companies

Creative Company of the Year

at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022 (second year in a row)


net new billings3
(2021: $8.7bn)

3 Billings as defined in the Glossary on page 232 of the Annual Report


Helping to bring about change for the better in society


in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index


in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ+ communities
(2021: 100%)


committed to racial equity and inclusion programmes since 2020 as part of our commitment to invest $30m over three years (figure excludes 2022 investments)

Financial highlights

Over the course of 2022 we were able to grow our business, improve profitability, maintain a strong balance sheet and reward shareholders.

Continued strong revenue growth

We are on track to achieve our goal of 3-4% growth in revenue less pass-through costs over the medium term


(2021: £12.8bn)


Revenue less pass-through costs1
(2021: £10.4bn)

1 Like-for-like growth as defined in the Glossary on page 232 of the Annual Report

Improving profitability

We are on track to meet our goal of headline 15.5-16.0% operating margin over the medium term


Headline operating margin2
(2021: 14.4%)


Transformation programme gross savings since 2019
(2021: £245m)

2 Headline operating profit of £1,742m, as a percentage of revenue less pass-through costs of £11,799m. Reported profit before tax was £1,160m (2021: £951m)

Maintaining low levels of net debt

We remain in line with our leverage target of 1.5-1.7x average adjusted net debt/headline EBITDA3


Adjusted net debt at year end
(2021: £0.9bn)


Ratio of adjusted net debt to headline EBITDA
(2021: 0.9x)

3 See definitions in the Glossary on page 232 of the Annual Report

Rewarding shareholders

Our dividends per share grew 26% over the last year and represent 40% of our headline EPS, which is in line with our target pay-out policy. We also bought back some of our shares to provide additional value to shareholders


Dividends per share
(2021: 31.2p)


Returned to shareholders through share buybacks
(2021: £729m)

Our strategy

We aim to inspire bold creativity across our agencies, harness the potential of data and new technology, simplify our structure, create an inclusive, rewarding culture for our people, and deliver extraordinary work for our clients.

Our Strategy PDF 13.7 MB

Computer-generated version of Serena Williams on a black background
Ford truck painted with a rainbow in the middle of a mountain landscape

Our business model

Our offer to clients covers communications, experience, commerce and technology. Our success depends on strong talent across all marketing disciplines, dynamic client relationships, the scale and breadth of our offer, and our data and technology skills.

Our Business Model PDF 286 KB

Investment case

We benefit from global scale, exposure to growth markets, a deep understanding of clients’ needs, leading capabilities and a strong financial foundation.

Investment Case PDF 77 KB

Sherwin Williams Speaking in Color campaign image. Image shows lots of images of landscapes with oceans
Person holding ipad

Key performance indicators

We track our performance against strategic, operational, financial, societal and environmental factors. Each KPI allows our Board, management and stakeholders to compare our performance against our goals.

Key Performance Indicators PDF 864 KB

Roberto Quarta, Chairman at WPP, headshot

It is clear that clients now see WPP and its agencies as business-critical partners in today’s complex marketing environment

Roberto Quarta


Chairman’s Letter PDF 74 KB

As we enter 2023 our financial position is strong

John Rogers

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer’s Statement PDF 68 KB
John Rogers, WPP Chief Financial Officer, headshot