CMG '10 revenues rebound at IPG

NEW YORK: Revenues for Interpublic Group's (IPG) Constituency Management Group (CMG) rose 10.8% for the year, up to $1,013.9 million, from $915.1 million in 2009.

NEW YORK: Revenues for Interpublic Group's (IPG) Constituency Management Group (CMG) rose 10.8% for the year, up to $1,013.9 million, from $915.1 million in 2009. CMG's organic growth increased 10.2% from the previous year, according to its earnings report released today.

The results showed a significant improvement over 2009, which posted a CMG revenue decline at 16% year-over- year, as well as organic growth that dropped 13% from 2008. CMG includes PR and event firms Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, DeVries, Jack Morton, FutureBrand, Octagon, and others.

"The traditional business returned and then the social media digital business basically expanded dramatically," said Harris Diamond, CEO of CMG. "We saw great results in Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, DeVries, and frankly almost all of our businesses. It was just a terrific year. I think a lot of it had to do with social media and our ability to engage clients. Clearly, it was of one the distinguishing aspects of this year, but a lot of if also was traditional. We saw a really great reach into a lot of our practice areas."

CMG's Q4 revenues posted an increase 18.4%, up to $288.6 million, from $243.7 million in 2009. The PR and marketing group also grew 18.5% organically in Q4. In Q3, PR had outperformed the overall group with an increase of 11.4% year-over-year.

Diamond, who is also CEO of CMG firm Weber Shandwick, said the business started to return in May with the US seeing a lot of organic growth and new business. Internationally, he said Asia was strong and Europe remained flat.

"I'm optimistic, where in the past I'd say I was cautious. I'm probably cautiously optimistic, but I am optimistic," Diamond added. "And I think it's for the same reasons. Social media continues to be an opportunity for us. So many mega events continue to be an opportunity for us. We are just seeing more and more companies turning to public relations and making it a more significant part of the marketing mix. More new clients, but also just organic growth with existing clients."

Company-wide, operating profit increased 23% for Q4 and 61% for full-year 2010 to $330.7 million and $548.7 million, respectively. Last year's total revenue was $6.53 billion, compared to $6.03 billion in 2009. Organic revenue also saw increases at 11.2% for Q4 and 7.0% for 2010. Specifically, US organic revenue for the full year had a growth of 10.1% and international was up 3.1%.

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