WPP interim results indicate “very strong recovery” for brand consultancies

WPP reports a faster-than-expected recovery in its half-year results, with branding consultancies among those capitalising on a shift towards digital media and ecommerce.

WPP has reported strong interim results with market recovery “much faster than expected” in the first half of the year.

The global advertising and design group, which operates design consultancies such as Superunion, Landor & Fitch and Wunderman Thompson, reported a 9.8% increase in revenue to £6.1 million.

This brings total operating profits to £590 million, an increase of 54.4% on last year’s £382 million in the same period. This resulted in an increased profit margin of 12%.

In the UK, the agency reported an operating profit of £83 million, more than double last year’s figure of £35 million. Across all its markets, WPP reported an average 12.1% increase in operating profits.

Mark Read

It was a particularly strong showing for WPP’s specialist consultancies. The sector reported  revenues of £265 million in the second quarter, bringing the total to £513 million for the first half of the year.

Operating profits for specialist consultancies totalled £44 million, as opposed to £28 million in 2020.

This has resulted in “very strong recovery” for its brand consultancies where there has been a resurgence in demand for services, according to WPP. The communications agency added that its healthcare strategy consultancy CMI was performing well.

WPP CEO Mark Read points to the reinvestment in marketing, particularly digital media and ecommerce, as one of the driving factors for this growth.

“We have returned to 2019 levels in 2021, a year head of our plan, with good momentum in 2022,” he adds.

Another contributing factor is the roll-out of successful vaccination programmes across major markets, according to WPP. The easing of restrictions and stimulation of economy have helped growth, it adds.

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