WPP launches £800m takeover as advertising rebound continues

WPP said the rebound in global advertising from the depths of the pandemic would continue this year after spending by clients across the industry rose nearly twice the rate originally forecast.

The owner of agencies such as Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R and Burson Cohn & Wolfe said he plans to buy back £800m of his shares in 2022 as he has set a target to increase his earnings by 5% like-for-like revenue.

Work on digital advertising strategies, caused by a ‘seismic shift in the way people consume media’, helped WPP post revenues of £10.4bn in 2021, up 12.1% on a comparable basis.

The London-based marketing conglomerate said there was particular momentum in the technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods sectors as it reported pre-tax profit of $951 million. pounds versus a loss of £2.8 billion in 2020.

Spending in the advertising industry jumped 22.5% last year, according to WPP GroupM’s media buying agency, compared to a forecast of 12.3% in December 2020.

WPP signed major global agreements with Coca-Cola and Google during the period and won assignments with clients including AstraZeneca, L’Oréal and J Sainsbury.

Shares of the FTSE 100 company have risen nearly 4% so far this year despite turmoil in global markets as investors grew more confident of a rebound.

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