PR a focal point of Omnicom Q2 earnings

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group today reported that PR generated $288.6 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2006, representing an increase of nearly 8.9% versus the second quarter of 2005.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group today reported that PR generated $288.6 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2006, representing an increase of nearly 8.9% versus the second quarter of 2005.

PR represented 10.2% of Omnicom's overall revenue for the quarter.

Randall Weisenburger, EVP and CFO of Omnicom said, in a teleconference, that growth in marketing services was driven by the "continuing strong performance of the CRM and healthcare businesses" and the improving performance of our PR businesses.

Second quarter performance brought first-half growth rate up to 5.2%, according to company reports.

"In PR it seems to be solid growth across the board," said John Wren, president of Omnicom, during the teleconference. "We haven't seen a slowdown as of the end of July, but we're in the process of gathering second half forecasts from our companies so I'm not in a position to be predictive."

"We've said on earlier calls that we thought the PR business was doing better than the numbers were indicating based on our conversations with the business leaders," Weisenburger added. "Even in Q2 we thought the business was doing better than what the obvious numbers were and we expected to see some of that come through in later quarters which so far in Q2 it did. So I think the performance during the quarter was more along the lines of what we expected."

Omnicom also reported that worldwide revenue increased 8% to $2.82 billion from $2.61 billion in Q2 of 2005. Domestic revenue for the second quarter of 2006 increased 8% to $1.53 billion compared to $1.42 billion for the same period of 2005.

Asked if Omnicom was concerned with its clients being more conservative during the second half of the year in light of a potential slowing down of the economy, Wren said the company's clients have all been conservative for the last several years.

"I don't foresee, based upon my conversations to date, people changing their plans at all because revenue growth is the focus of most of the blue-chip companies that I have conversations with," Wren said. "So we're always cautious in the way that we approach the market. But between market share gains and growth from existing clients we don't see any trends which are terribly alarming. The people that are struggling the most probably are the US carmakers. There's a lot of work to do obviously but it's a steady state of affairs for us."

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