Omnicom PR revenue down 3.7% in Q4; up 1.5% in 2013

Omnicom Group's PR business reported an organic revenue drop of 3.7% in Q4 2013 to $340.8 million.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group's PR business reported an organic revenue drop of 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $340.8 million.

The PR unit saw organic growth of 1.5% to $1.3 billion for full-year 2013.

Omnicom's PR firms include FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Cone, and Marina Maher Communications.

Omnicom's advertising firms saw 4.1% organic revenue growth in the quarter to nearly $2 billion, while CRM was up 6.8% organically, year-over-year, to $1.4 billion. The specialty communications group's revenue increased 2.5% to $279.4 million.

For full-year 2013, the advertising group's revenue was up 4.8% organically to $7 billion, while CRM's revenue increased 2.1% to $5.1 billion. The specialty communications group's revenue jumped 4.8% to $1.1 billion, compared with the year prior.

The holding company's overall revenue was up 4.2% organically in the fourth quarter to $4.1 billion. For full-year 2013, revenue grew 3.5% on an organic basis to $14.6 billion.

Omnicom's total operating income in the fourth quarter grew 0.6% to $551.2 million, compared with the year prior, while net income in Q4 decreased 2.1% to $300.5 million. Operating margin in the fourth quarter decreased to 13.6% from 13.9% in Q4 2012.

For the full year, the holding company's total operating income increased 1.2% to $1.8 billion, and net income for the 12-month period dropped $7.2 million to $991 million. Operating margin for 2013 dropped to 12.5% from 12.7% a year earlier.

Broken down by geography, the holding company's US revenue grew 3% organically in Q4 to $2.1 billion. International organic revenue growth was 5.6% in the quarter to nearly $2 billion.

Growth was slightly higher for North America than the US at 3.2% organically to $2.2 billion, while organic growth in Europe was 2.6% to $1.2 billion. In Asia-Pacific markets, Omnicom reported organic growth of 10.1% to $444.5 million in Q4, while it registered 18% organic growth in Latin America $131 million. The holding company saw 1.1% organic growth in the Africa and Middle East region to $66 million.

For the full 12-month period, organic revenue growth in the US was 3.7% to $7.6 billion, while international revenue growth was up 3.4% compared with Q4 2012 to $7 billion. For the full year, North American organic revenue growth was also 3.7% to $8.2 billion, while organic revenue growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific for the full year was 1.4% and 6.1%, respectively. Latin America again outpaced other regions with 9.2% organic revenue growth in 2013 to $437.4 million. Omnicom's Middle Eastern business saw a 5.3% organic increase to $239 million in 2013.

The holding company's Q4 results included $13.3 million in pre-tax charges related to its merger with Publicis Groupe. For the full year, charges related to the combination totaled $41.4 million.

The company said on Tuesday that it has pushed back the expected closing date for its merger with Publicis, citing regulatory hurdles that still need clearance in China.

The CEOs of Omnicom agencies FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli could not be immediately reached for comment. 

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