First Quarter Trading Update

27 Apr 2022

Strong start to the year across the business; continued investment in growth; LFL growth guidance raised to 5.5-6.5%

£ million % reported1 % LFL2
First Quarter
Revenue 3,091 6.7% 8.1%
Revenue less pass-through costs 2,574 10.3% 9.5%
  • Q1 revenue +6.7%; LFL revenue +8.1%
  • Q1 LFL revenue less pass-through costs +9.5%
  • Top five markets Q1 LFL revenue less pass-through costs: USA +8.9%, UK +8.1%, Germany +16.1%, China +11.9%, India +25.1%
  • LFL revenue less pass-through costs by business sector: Global Integrated Agencies +8.6% (GroupM +12.8%, ex GroupM +5.6%), Public Relations +14.1%, Specialist Agencies +13.0%
  • $1.8 billion net new business won, including Mars, JDE Peet’s, Sky
  • Launch of Everymile, our commerce-as-a-service proposition; acquisition of Village Marketing; merger of Mediacom and Essence, and creation of GroupM Nexus
  • £362 million of share buybacks in Q1
  • 2022 guidance raised: LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth now expected to be 5.5-6.5%, up from around 5%

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:

“The year has started very well with continued momentum from 2021 resulting in strong growth across all businesses and regions. Demand is strong for our services, particularly in digital media, ecommerce, data and marketing technology.

“The war in Ukraine has created an appalling humanitarian crisis. We continue to support our people in Ukraine, many of whom are now displaced, with financial and practical assistance. Our partnership with the UNHCR on their emergency fundraising appeal has generated $150 million to date, including over $1.3 million from our employee match-funding programme. On 4 March, we announced that we would exit the Russian market, and we have now reached agreement to divest our businesses there.

“We continue to see strong demand for our services from our clients and to invest in the many opportunities for growth driven by the digital transition, including Choreograph and the recent launch of Everymile. As a result of a strong first quarter, we now expect our growth to be in the range of 5.5% to 6.5%, up from around 5% at the start of the year. We remain very mindful of the impact of the broader macroeconomic environment on our business and will respond quickly to any changes as the year progresses.”

WPP 2022 First Quarter Trading Update press release PDF 235.7 KB

  1. Percentage change in reported sterling vs prior year from continuing operations.
  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 from continuing operations, 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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