Annual Report 2019

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30 APR 2020

Annual Report 2019

WPP is a creative transformation company. We use the power of creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities.

The coronavirus pandemic has touched all our lives. Our first priority is the wellbeing of our people... Our second is continuity of service for our clients

Mark Read

Chief Executive Officer

Covid-19 PDF 852 KB

In 2019 we made good progress in implementing our new strategy for WPP

Mark Read

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive’s statement PDF 171 KB

In these uncertain times, we find considerable reassurance in the strength of our balance sheet

Roberto Quarta


Chairman’s letter PDF 133 KB
WPP Annual Report 2018 Chairman Roberto Quarta

At a glance



(2018: £53.2bn)


(2018: £13.0bn)
Revenue less pass-through costs


(2018: £10.9bn)


Social investment as a percentage of reported profit before tax


(2018: 1.35%)
Women in senior management


(2018: 49%)
Carbon emissions per person from building energy use (scope 1 and 2)

0.60 tCO2e

(2018: 0.76tCO2e)

At a glance PDF 41 KB
Financial review PDF 146 KB
Sustainability PDF 3.3 MB

All figures continuing operations, with 2018 figures restated.


Radical evolution: a strategy for growth

When we launched our new strategy in December 2018 we described it as one of radical evolution. Radical because we needed to take decisive action to stabilise the Company and reposition it for growth; an evolution because ours is a talent business, and we need to transform at a deliberate pace – taking our people and clients with us on the journey.

In 2019, we laid the groundwork by making major structural changes to the Company. We implemented the mergers announced in the second half of 2018, creating fewer, stronger agency brands. We have completed more than 50 disposals in the past two years – the most significant being the sale of 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital.

Our strategy focuses on growth. The savings from restructuring our business will allow us to increase investment in the areas that will drive top-line growth in the future: creativity, technology and talent.


Vision & offer

A vision developed with our people and clients and a refreshed, more contemporary offer to meet the needs of our clients in a rapidly changing market.

Read more PDF 2.5 MB


A renewed commitment to creativity, WPP’s most important competitive advantage.

Read more PDF 3 MB


Data & technology

Harnessing the strength of our marketing and advertising technology, and unique partnerships with technology firms, for the benefit of clients.

Read more PDF 2.1 MB

Simpler structure

Reducing complexity and making sure our clients can access the best resources from across the Company.

Read more PDF 12 MB

Group of 7 people around a rectangular table in discussion

People & culture

Investment in our people, culture and values to ensure WPP is the natural home for the best and brightest talent.

Read more PDF 1.4 MB


“I’m not entirely sure what it is but I do know I want it.”

A foolhardy attempt to de-mystify that precious property we call creativity

By Jeremy Bullmore

Jeremy Bullmore’s essay PDF 330 KB

Shareholders have the ability to receive, upon request, a hard copy version of WPP’s complete audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019, free of charge, by either:

(i) writing to Computershare, our registrars in the UK, at the following address:

13 Castle Street
St Helier
T : +44 (0)870 707 1411

Or by:

(ii) writing to Citi our ADR depositary in the US, at the following address:
PO Box 43077
Providence RI 02940-3077

Or by telephone on:

Callers within the US : +1 877 248 4237
Callers outside of US: +1 781 575 4555