Global: Edelman growth in US sees slowdown

Edelman reported significantly slower growth in the US than the rest of the world for the first time in its results for the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to data seen exclusively by PRWeek.

The largest PR firm in the world achieved organic growth of 10.8 per cent worldwide and 6.4 per cent in the US in the financial year from 1 July 2011, to 30 June 2012, well down from 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively in the previous 12 months.

Worldwide revenue was up from $575.1m to $636.4m (£405.2m) in the period; US revenue grew from $367.2m to $391.5m (£249.5m). At sister agency Zeno Group, which reports earnings separately, revenue was up 27 per cent year on year, all in the US.

President and CEO Richard Edelman attributed the slowdown in the US to a 'budget impasse last summer that scared clients for a while', and because 'healthcare and pharma got a bit soft'.

'Almost 65 per cent of our business is marketing- focused and concern from marketers about the deficit and debt affected spending,' he said. 'In healthcare, spending by some clients was down by more than 30 per cent.'

However,Edelman reported that it had grown more than 250 per cent in India, principally on the back of work for multinational conglomerate Tata, and was up more than 40 per cent in China, mainly because of more work for HP and Starbucks.

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