NEW YORK: While Omnicom Group's PR revenues declined 17.4% in Q1, compared to the same period last year, the discipline showed improvement in March, according to CEO John Wren.
The improvement in PR "was relatively small in the scope of overall reporting, so while it's hopeful and a good month, it isn't yet a trend," said Wren, during the earnings call.
PR revenues totaled about $260 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2009. PR makes up 9.5% of the holding company's overall earnings. Advertising revenues, which contribute the majority of the holding company's earnings, fell about 13% in Q1, compared to the same period last year.
Omnicom is the industry's largest holding company. Its PR agencies include Brodeur Worldwide, Cone, Fleishman-Hillard, Gavin Anderson & Co, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, and Clark & Weinstock, among others.
Companywide, Omnicom reported net income of $164.5 million on revenues of about $2.75 billion for the quarter. That's a more than 21% drop in profit, but that forecast beat some analysts predictions. In comparison, the company earned net income of $208.7 million on revenues of about $3.2 billion in the year ago period.
“The decline correlates closely to industry sectors in distress,” said Wren, who noted the largest decline occurred in the automotive sector, as its client Chrysler reduced spending.
Less significant project cuts also occurred in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, healthcare, travel, technology, and telecommunications, the company noted.