APCO Worldwide: Agency Business Report 2008

CEO Margery Kraus says 2007 results were generally fantastic, with the firm's global reach benefiting clients who increasingly look for transregional services.

Outlook
CEO Margery Kraus says 2007 results were generally fantastic, with the firm's global reach benefiting clients who increasingly look for transregional services. Not only are Asian companies moving into the West and vice versa, but a client from the Far East might seek help entering new markets such as Eastern Europe or Africa.

Services related to global health generated especially good growth for APCO, as did finance-related communications.

For 2008, Kraus says the firm is cautiously optimistic, given economic uncertainty.

"We have no plans to open new offices," she says, "but [we will] invest in all these new things we've started and focus a bit to make sure we have the internal infrastructure in place for our next growth spurt."

Staff
Global staff reached 570, up 13% from 2006, with turnover for 2007 at 19.47%. Senior hires included SVP Linda Distlerath, former Merck & Co. VP of global health policy; senior advisor Trevor Neilson, former director of public affairs and special projects at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; SVP Steve Harris, former Senate Banking Committee staff director; and SVP Derwin Johnson, former Middle East bureau chief for CNN and ABC News. Staff departing the firm included regional CFO Scott Brenowitz, director and VP QC Liang.

Senior-level promotions included Mike Hotra, Bill Pierce, and Courtney Piron to SVP; the hiring in London of Darren Murphy as MD; and the appointment in Brussels of Garry Walsh as MD and Paolo Nicoletti as deputy MD.

Structural changes
No M&As, nor any senior management restructuring.

Regional performance
New offices opened in Bangkok, Mumbai, Warsaw, and Dubai. North America remains the firm's largest and best-performing region, though APCO is also seeing rapid growth in EMEA and Asia.

Practice areas
There are 24, including business diplomacy, C-suite services, corporate responsibility, healthcare, media relations, and opinion research. Particularly strong growth was seen in global health and financial and corporate communications services.

Accounts
New or expanded accounts included new work for Abbot in Washington, Brussels, and Asia; Bristol-Myers Squibb in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; INVISTA, in China; United; and Wyeth.

Financial performance
Global revenue for 2007 totaled $97.5 million, up 19% from the year before. US revenue totaled more than $55.9 million, up 13%. The company did not disclose profit margins. Corporate communications work totaled more than $46.6 million, public affairs about $42.7 million, community relations about $5 million, consumer marketing about $1.8 million, and b-to-b marketing nearly $1.3 million.

Key facts
Principals: Margery Kraus, president, founder, and CEO; Neal Cohen, CEO, Americas region

Ownership:
Independent

Offices:
Five in the US, 30 total around the world

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