IPG's PR firms' Q1 revenue grows almost 8% despite companywide loss

NEW YORK: Interpublic Group's PR agencies' revenue grew faster than the holding company's other businesses during the first three months of this year, said Harris Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick and Interpublic's Constituency Management Group (CMG), which includes its PR firms.

NEW YORK: Interpublic Group's PR agencies' revenue grew faster than the holding company's other businesses during the first three months of this year, said Harris Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick and Interpublic's Constituency Management Group (CMG), which includes its PR firms.

IPG's CMG division reported revenues of $244 million for Q1, ending March 31, compared to $228 million in the same period last year - a 7.7% organic increase. Its Integrated Agency Networks division, which includes ad agencies, earned $1.24 billion, an organic increase of 4.6% from the year before.

IPG did not disclose first-quarter earnings for its PR business or individual companies, but Diamond said the PR agencies performed better than the company average.

IPG's PR agencies include WS, GolinHarris, MWW Group, and DeVries.

"It's fair to say that we saw the PR side have a quarter of tremendous growth," Diamond added.

Companywide, however, IPG reported a net loss of $62.8 million on revenues of $1.49 billion for its Q1. That represents a 9.3% increase in revenue compared to the same period a year prior, when IPG posted a net loss of $124.2 million on revenues of $1.36 billion.

Total organic revenue in Q1 rose 5.1%. Domestic organic growth was 5.2%, and 5% for international.

A company spokesperson said that IPG is on track to meet its targeted 8.5% to 9% revenue growth margins.

Additionally, IPG disclosed May 1 that it has agreed to pay $12 million to settle all charges brought against it, and its advertising subsidiary McCann-Erickson, by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC began investigating the company's past financial reports in 2002.

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