Mark Read
Mark Read

WPP chief Mark Read reported a 16.1 percent gain to $8.5B in H1 revenues (like-for-like) and a $672.7M operating profit, compared to a $3.8B year-ago loss.

The upbeat financial performance comes as successful vaccination programs in major markets accelerated the easing of restrictions and stimulated economic activity.

Read noted that clients continue to reinvest in marketing, especially for digital media, e-commerce and technology.

WPP has returned to its 2019 level of performance, a year ahead of plan, and enjoys “good momentum into 2022,” according to Read.

WPP's PR unit jumped 7.5 percent to $625.5M for the half. Second-quarter revenues grew 14.1 percent to $328M.

“We have seen strong growth in our public relations and public affairs companies," Read told O'Dwyer's. "The performance at BCW, H&K, Ogilvy and Finsbury Grover Hering is particularly pleasing given their resilience in 2020 and demonstrates the value that clients are increasingly placing on corporate reputation, purpose and employee communications.”

Read noted the high demand for purpose-driven communications as clients sought to engage with stakeholders on sustainability issues.

He said WPP is at the heart of many of the environmental, social and governance issues “that we face as a society and the actions and judgments we make as a business are critically important.”