2022 Interim Results

5 Aug 2022

Strong first half: broad-based growth, sustained demand from clients, transformation programme on track. 2022 growth guidance upgraded again

Key figures

£ million H1 2022 +/(-) % reported1 +/(-) % LFL2 H1 2021
Revenue 6,755 10.2 8.7 6,133
Revenue less pass-through costs 5,509 12.5 8.9 4,899
Operating profit 539 11.4
Profit before tax 419 6.1 - 394
Diluted EPS (p) 22.7 10.2 - 20.6
Dividends per share (p) 15.0 20.0 - 12.5
Operating profit   639 8.2 -
Operating profit margin  11.6% (0.5pt*) -
Profit before tax   562 12.0 - 502
Diluted EPS (p)   33.0 15.0 - 28.7

* Margin points

H1 and Q2 financial highlights

  • Client demand strong across most segments and regions
  • H1 reported revenue up 10.2%, LFL revenue 8.7% (Q2 9.3%)
  • H1 revenue less pass-through costs up 12.5%, LFL revenue less pass-through costs up 8.9% (up 9.4% on H1 2019)
  • Q2 LFL revenue less pass-through costs up 8.3%: US 10.4%, UK 6.2%, Germany 11.5%, China (6.1)% (affected by lockdowns), Australia 3.2%
  • Strong new business performance: $3.4 billion net new billings in H1
  • H1 headline operating profit margin 11.6%, down 0.5pt on prior year as expected, as a result of higher personnel costs and a return to business travel
  • Trade working capital cash outflow £232 million year-on-year; still expected to be around flat year-on-year at year-end
  • Adjusted net debt at 30 June 2022 £3.1 billion, up £1.6 billion year-on-year after £1.1 billion of share buybacks since June 2021

Strategic progress, shareholder returns and outlook

  • Continued recognition of extraordinary creativity: WPP awarded most creative company at Cannes Lions for second year running
  • Faster growth areas of experience, commerce and technology around 39% of revenue less pass-through costs in Global Integrated Agencies ex-GroupM in H1
  • Strong performance by industry sector: H1 LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth 12% in Technology, 7% in CPG and 7% in Healthcare
  • Investing for growth: enhancing our data capabilities through Choreograph and launch of Everymile, direct-to-consumer ecommerce offer
  • Focused M&A: acquisition of Village Marketing to accelerate creator economy growth and Bower House Digital, a leading marketing technology agency
  • Further simplification to enhance offer to clients: creation of EssenceMediacom and Design Bridge and Partners
  • Transformation programme on track to deliver expected £300 million of annual savings this year over a 2019 base
  • £637 million share buybacks in H1, total of £800 million to be completed in 2022; 15.0p 2022 interim dividend declared, +20%
  • Full year 2022 LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth now expected to be 6.0-7.0%; headline operating profit margin up around 50 bps

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:

“We have enjoyed a strong first half, with broad-based growth across our creative, media and public relations businesses. This reflects the improved competitive position of our creative businesses, with their growing capabilities in commerce, experience and technology, our continued strength in media and the resurgence in demand for strategic communications advice from our public relations agencies.

“Our services are business-critical – driving growth, building brands, innovating and helping clients navigate an increasingly complex marketing environment. As major advertisers increasingly look to integrate their marketing investments, we are well positioned to serve the world’s largest companies, demonstrated by our success with Coca-Cola, which we are now onboarding at pace. The second quarter saw significant assignment wins from Audi, Audible, Danone and Nationwide.

“Our commitment to creativity was recognised at Cannes Lions in June where WPP was awarded the most creative company, recognising the quality of our work in all areas, spanning film, digital, media, commerce and creative business transformation. It’s a testament to our investment in creativity and the talent of our people, and I am committed to making WPP the most creative company in the world.

“Our clients are continuing to invest in WPP’s services, which reflects our attractive industry exposure in technology and healthcare, our broad global footprint, and the importance of what we do for their businesses. The actions we have taken over the last four years leave WPP much better positioned with a more uncertain economic environment ahead.”

WPP 2022 Interim Results press release PDF 769.4 KB


  1. Percentage change in reported sterling.
  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.
  3. In this press release not all of the figures and ratios used are readily available from the unaudited interim results included in Appendix 1. Management believes these non-GAAP measures, including constant currency and like-for-like growth, revenue less pass-through costs and headline profit measures, are both useful and necessary to better understand the Group’s results. Where required, details of how these have been arrived at are shown in Appendix 2.


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