- WPP has returned to 2019 levels a year ahead of plan, reporting a £550m increase in revenues for the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020.

According to WPP, the like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs growth rate of 19.3% that it experienced in the second quarter was its highest on record driven by clients reinvesting in digital media, ecommerce and marketing technology.

Mark Read, chief executive officer at WPP, said the company is also making good strategic progress through its focus on data, commerce and technology, through strategic acquisitions, organic investments and the launch of Choreograph.

He added: 'In procurement, property and shared services, we are making strong progress as part of our overall transformation programme. We have significantly increased our incentive pools in the first half, to reflect the tremendous contribution of our people in these challenging times, and in line with our intention to reinvest in talent announced at our Capital Markets Day in December 2020.

'We expect our strategy to translate into benefits for all of our stakeholders: a powerful, modern offer to support our clients' growth; a great place for our people to work; a positive contribution to communities and the environment; and good financial returns for shareholders, with the interim dividend raised 25% and £600 million of share buybacks planned in 2021.'

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