PR sees increase as IPG's overall revenues remain unchanged

NEW YORK: Interpublic Group announced first quarter revenue today of $1.33 billion, virtually unchanged from the first quarter of 2005.

NEW YORK: Interpublic Group announced first quarter revenue today of $1.33 billion, virtually unchanged from the first quarter of 2005.

US revenue rose 5%, to $775 million for the quarter, while international revenue declined 6.5% to $552 million.

The Constituency Management Group (CMG), which houses IPG's major PR agencies, was singled out as a positive factor, however. IPG CEO Michael Roth said that CMG has "been winning [business] across the range of PR, even marketing, and branding" in the quarter.

CMG's revenue for the quarter was $218 million, representing a 5.7% organic growth rate from the first quarter of 2005.

IPG CFO Frank Mergenthaler said in a conference call that CMG's performance was "up across the board" in the US, citing "strong organic increases at Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand." Internationally, he said, "CMG was down moderately despite strong PR and branding performance."

During the call, Roth also discussed the possibility of IPG merging two of large ad agency brands, Draft and Foote Cone Belding. He said that the two firms have "complementary" cultures, but that no decision has been made on the move thus far.

Roth and Mergenthaler emphasized that they do not believe IPG will achieve overall organic revenue growth this year due to the aftereffects of major client losses in 2005.

IPG's PR agencies include Weber Shandwick, Golin Harris, and MWW Group.

 

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