LONDON — WPP on Friday reported positive Q2 2022 results, with like-for-like revenue across its PR division up by 7.3% to £283 million.

It’s the sixth consecutive quarterly revenue rise for the division whose PR agencies include BCW, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Ogilvy. The PR division started its turnaround with a 2% lift in Q1 2021 — its first quarterly revenue rise for two years — and included a high of 16% in Q3. The PR agencies registered a 14.1% lift in Q1.

The group's like-for-like revenue fwas up 10.5% to £545 million during the first half of the year.

WPP credited the PR agency growth in part to robust business from H+K, which delivered double digit growth. Purpose-related and ESG assignments were the primary drivers of the group’s growth. Other highlights include the rebrand of Finsbury Glover Hering and Sard Verbinnen, whose merger with FGH will create a financial PR powerhouse, FGS Global.

WPP as a whole saw Q2 LFL revenue rise 8.3% and an 8.9% LFL lift for the half-year.

Q2 LFL revenue less pass-through costs was up 10.4% in the US, 6.2% in the UK, 11.5% in Germany and 3.2% in Australia. China revenue dropped 6.1% due to lockdowns. 

WPP CEO Mark Read 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.&rd