Omnicom PR revenue up 4.4% in first quarter

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group's PR revenue grew 4.4% organically compared with the prior year to $306.9 million in the first quarter.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group's PR revenue grew 4.4% organically compared with the prior year to $306.9 million in the first quarter.

The holding company owns and operates Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Cone, and Mercury Public Affairs. It acquired Marina Maher Communications last November.

PR accounted for 9.3% of Omnicom's Q1 business, while advertising made up 46.9%, and CRM was 36.3%. Specialty marketing was 7.5% of Omnicom's first-quarter business.

Omnicom president and CEO John Wren said on an earnings call that “PR showed improvement for the first time in several quarters” in Q1.

Randall Weisenburger, EVP and CFO at the holding company, explained on an earnings call that Omnicom's PR business was stronger than it appeared in recent quarters.

“The business broadly was pretty solid over the past couple of quarters, but it wasn't appearing in the numbers,” he said. “I don't know if it's a big rebound or turnaround, but the businesses are in very good shape and it's just coming back into the numbers.”

Omnicom reported an organic revenue increase of 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, and organic growth of 4.2% and 1.3% in Q3 and Q2, respectively.

The company reported 5.1% organic growth for its overall business, compared with Q1 2011, to $3.3 billion. Operating income was up 12.5% year-over-year to $362.5 million, while net income grew 1.3% compared with Q1 2011 to $204.6 million. Omnicom reported 11% margins in Q1.

US revenue, which makes up the majority (52%) of Omnicom's business, saw 4.4% organic growth in the quarter, compared with the previous year, to $1.7 billion.

The automobile and retail sectors were the largest portions of Omnicom's business, accounting for 13.1% and 11.9% of its revenue in the period.

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